Circuit Des Yeux: -io (Matador/digital outlets)

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Circuit Des Yeux: -io (Matador/digital outlets)

If we're honest, few albums truly catch us by surprise.

As we noted when we wrote about the previous album by Circuit des Yeux (Haley Fohr from Chicago), much of what we hear conforms to familiar musical archetypes.

But CdY's Reaching for Indigo certainly had us floundering a little.

In a very good way. 

She creates a kind of contemporary art music (our reference points were Antony/Anohni dropped a few octaves, minimalism, Brel, Galas and so on) and here again we are in challenging but utterly engrossing art music.

This is a world where Anohni and (a melodic) Nico walk towards winter amidst swirling orchestral arrangements or where the repeated figures from strings transport us to some nightclub for hip young classical listeners.

Or a Middle Eastern locale where her powerful voice lifts itself from moody, low tenor into a quavering operatic style.

Or a Grace Jones schooled at Guildhall.

If there is an enormity of orchestration at work here, Fohr's vocal range manages to convey a sense of ineffable hurt or of living in a world beyond our comprehension.

Beyond the liturgical sensibility, there is a pop component at times inasmuch as something pulls you along with a throbbing rhythm and a melodic hooks (Dogma) or with a surreptitious whisper (The Chase where a sotto voce Laurie Anderson-styled intimacy seduces you in before Fohr aches over a relentless pulse).

What makes this album so all-enveloping is the sense of grandeur (as on Argument) which she brings to this world of unease, and poetic leaps into a place where the personal and the vastness collide with dramatic beauty.

Songs like Walking Towards Winter and Neutron Star are utterly engrossing works of pop-cum-prog art music.

The closing two pieces -- Stranger and the lovely if chilly and cautionary Oracle Song -- are lyrically deep but beguilingly spacious after all that has come before.

Unlike anything else, other than herself.


You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here

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