EP REVIEW: jackie – Hey Angel
Since the release of their debut EP New at Drugs in 2020, and harvesting nearly one million streams on Spotify as a result, Canadian trio jackie continue to defy genre expectations through their latest release Hey Angels. Best described as shoegaze dream-pop with alt rock’s metallic edge, this six-track EP harnesses raging swells, ethereal melodic layering and crisp vocals to deliver a summer-ready soundtrack.
Now, imagine this. You’re driving down a country road, top-down, basking in the warm sun, living your best life. jackie’s opening track, My Best Years, begins to play and you can’t help but turn the volume up as you singalong at the top of your lungs. Because that’s exactly what it makes you want to do. Despite its melancholic lyrics, the hook of “My best years are callin’ / My fears are far behind” adds a dash of euphoria that the future is near and brighter than ever believed, dispelling the verse’s shadows. Interestingly, singer, Jackie Mohr, shared “I was trying to shed something weighing my conscience down. I usually do my best work when I feel self-loathing.” Perhaps this is what makes the song so exhilarated, as it captures a never-seen-before side of the trio where they offer the usual vulnerability, but combined it with a zest of empowerment, ignited from unapologetically choosing yourself and pursuing happiness. However, this excitement starts to dwindle in the bridge as a result of its lengthy escapade, which seems to be a common occurrence throughout the EP.
For example, closing track I Can’t Forget the Feeling’s intro feels particularly drawn out, reaching almost two-minutes before vocals burst through with a bouncy melody that reawakens that midsummer sentiment, making it one of our favourites despite the initial hesitation. Nevertheless, we cannot fault the production nor harmonic intricacies I Can’t Forget is beautifully crafted with. The vast sonic landscape created elicits the feeling of awe, which we imagine would be a welcomed interlude in a live setting.
Sandwiched between these is the mellow Love To Give, whose thick riff-laden bassline gives it a bluesy feel, which becomes perfectly layered with Marc Girardin’s detailed guitar melodies and Max Trefler’s relaxed but constant beats. However, Mohr’s ethereal vocal arrangements re-establishes those hints of dream-pop influences. Similarly, Right This Time and Filter are driven by their rhymical and melodic basslines. However, mingled with Mohr’s vocal and instrumentation gives an overall late 60s/early 70s bohemian feel. Comparatively, Filter’s bridge seemingly draws upon grunge influences, which oddly compliments the otherwise mellow record, with the bridge being reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s MTV laxed vocal style.
Alternatively, Leaving Tomorrow (Figure It Out) feels like an easy Sunday morning, with Mohr’s vocals sounding their best, as she flawlessly fluctuates between soft, silky runs and legato verses to belting choruses that cut through the mellifluousness.
All in all, it’s safe to say jackie aren’t a genre, they are vibe. And this January they have released the summer soundtrack you’ve been waiting for.
Standout Tracks: My Best Years, Right This Time (Don’t Wanna Be)
For Fans Of: Me Not You, Starbenders, Softcult
Written by: Corey Plant