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Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux)

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Haley Fohr (credit: Michael Vallera)

"I think, I really think and hope—I hope that there is a vaccine for the coronavirus within the next six months to a year. And I also hope there's a vaccine to the music industry."

Haley Fohr is a composer and singer-songwriter based in Chicago. You may know her as Circuit des Yeux or as the enigmatic Jackie Lynn, and if you don’t, once you’ve heard her sing you won’t forget her. Her voice has a lovely, haunting timbre that glides between four octaves, and she’s exceptional at relating her personal experience to the human condition at large—an ability that’s earned her a cover appearance on Wire Magazine and much critical acclaim for her records.

She and I discussed how her early music communities in Bloomington and Chicago helped form her identity as an artist, and how that identity continues to evolve amidst her two projects. We also examined the disparity between art and capitalism, and how this COVID moment is further elucidating the incongruity between the two, highlighting inadequate payout models that don't get money to the people actually creating the art. But the silver lining is that it’s inspired innovation for alternative support structures, and those have allowed Haley and others to discover the crucial kindness of benevolent strangers. The rest of the story's on SoundCloud below and on Spotify here.

Support Haley:

Music in this episode, used with permission from Haley:
"Do the Dishes" — Circuit des Yeux
"Brainshift" — Circuit des Yeux
"Fantasize the Scene" — Circuit des Yeux
"Bright Lights" — Jackie Lynn
"Black Fly" — Circuit des Yeux
"Paper Bag" — Circuit des Yeux

This episode also marks the end of season one of Community Matters. It’s been an incredible opportunity to speak with brilliant musical minds about the importance of music community. Community does matter, it always has. But that importance has perhaps never been more apparent than in this moment, when a global pandemic has obliterated the live music industry, stealing musicians’ primary source of income and placing into question the futures of supporting structures like music venues, promoters, managers, et al. Still, those brilliant minds continue to create, making music and sharing it with the people that it speaks to. These people continue to inform the community we’re building at Grey Matter. I want to thank each artist for their time and energy, as well as all of the managers and PR folks who have helped facilitate the conversations (and to Alexander Frieden and Grace Rubin for the editing support throughout!). Remember, we all have a vested interest in making sure our favorite musicians can continue to make music.

Want to be part of the music industry's vaccine? We can help with that. Learn more and join the community.