Jackie Charles started in Berlin 2017 as the love child, band and alter ego of songwriter Kaja Bremnes. After a string of shows the band grew to become darlings on the continental European underground scene. With synths as the base and reverby guitar twang, the band lies somewhere within the illusive dream pop genre. Jackie Charles have been compared to everything from David Bowie and The Cure to Ariel Pink and Alvvays. Once described as ‘ existentialist-new wave-postpunk-dad rock ’, Jackie Charles has one foot firmly placed on an Arctic Norwegian fishing boat and the other runs free on the rooftops of Berlin’s Skyline. The nihilist lyrics remind you of how good it feels when everything is shit and thoroughly suits the warmth of a pre-apocalyptic summer.
1: There is no such thing as an ‘alpha male’. The guy who came up with it in the first place went back to his research and realised he was wrong. Then he spent the rest of his life trying to get people to stop using the term.
2: Whenever there’s a northern light, there will also be a southern light that is the exact mirrored image of the northern one.
3: The black plague was unfairly attributed to rats, but scientists recently concluded that the actual culprit for the spread were gerbils.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
2. How and when did you get into making music?
When I was five years old I went to the opera to see ‘Die Zauberflöte’ and spent the rest of the year dressing up as queen of the night and making up songs about the things around me.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
(no particular order)
Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas
Captain Beefheart – Safe as milk
Burt Bacharach – Portrait in music
The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Nick Cave – Murder Ballads
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Berlin is a two-faced bitch. All sweet and lovely on the one side but then it can turn on you like its nothing. Berlin is freedom and acceptance, but highly schizophrenic, and the winters are deadly. Summer is a prize you can only be worthy of if you survived the winter. Berlin is MSG.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
The vintage car museum in Charlottenburg.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Duh – Invent music of course.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
I found this vinyl compillation in a vintage bookstore; ‘Early, Early Love Songs – Original Hits zum Schmusen und Träumen’. It has lots of good stuff on it like ‘Only You’, ‘Stand By Your Man’, ‘To Know You Is To Love You’ and ‘Cry’ by Mr. Cash.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Todd Rundgren for sure and also Noname the rapper – she’s like a beam of light.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
We only had two gigs so far – they were both the best.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technically all music utilises technology. Analog instruments developed over millennia. So yes, very important. That being said, live music seems to be a dying breed and we hope to be part of the resurrection.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Have a pesky brother who’s a way better musician than I’ll ever be. Damn his talents.
‘Birthday Song’ is the first single from upcoming debut album ‘Future Fantasies’ which will be released in April 2019.
Photo © Knut Aaserad