Circuit Des Yeux - Reaching For Indigo
(Drag City)

Haley Fohr returns to her lead project, Circuit Des Yeux. I say return because over the last 3 years she’s been deeply invested in, and perhaps overtaken by, her assumption and transformation into a new artist: Jackie Lynn. Thrill Jockey released that self-titled album which saw Fohr taking on the role of Jackie Lynn; a more traditional synth-pop artist with stripped down solo arrangements. Though it was meant as a one-off, it ended up overshadowing Circuit Des Yeux which has always been an experimental folk and abstract project focused on tone, ambiance and dissonant beauty. 
Whether or not we see another Jackie Lynn LP is anyone’s guess but here’s what we do have; a new record by Circuit Des Yeux, her sixth, and her first for Drag City. Reaching For Indigo beautifully walks the line of atmospheric folk, string-laden drone and deep-toned resonation. Synths, cellos, sparse acoustics, electric noise and most importantly, her dynamic and versatile bellowing voice all beautifully intermingle creating sweeping and wide brushes of abstract folk and stark experiments. When listening to this record and understanding it’s approach, you have to discuss Nico and her 2 key records for Elektra and Reprise: The Marble Index and Desertshore. Fohr is aiming for something a little wider, rather than Nico’s distinctive tone-poems, but her spirit and arrangements are in lockstep with those records. Her ambiance and texture mirror the din and darkened spirits that Nico channeled then and her voice, at times, mimics Nico’s grandeur. However Fohr is able to do a lot more with it. She soars, caterwauls and even shrieks in elaborate fashion on the largely instrumental rural fuzz of “A Story Of This World Part II.” In between her rich, tapestry-like, sparse folk she even finds time for a more structured rock tune. “Paper Bag” is introduced by her operatic use of octaves before transitioning to a transfixing acoustic figure populated by big-beat drums and her majestic tenor. It’s a great example of her precision and instrumental wizardry. It’s also evidence of her impressive talent though it solidifies my amazement as to her relatively unknown stature as Circuit Des Yeux; a project which she began at the age of 17 in 2008.
While “Paper Bag” is a dazzling track, it’s songs like “Black Fly” which summarize the sound of Reaching For Indigo and present the best window into her song construction. She is able to maintain the same warmth and beautiful tone across several transitions of luminescent and chamber-like folk, cosmic synth meditation and a good final build-up of ambient noise. There’s a whole bunch to like here and a record full of joy and bleak moments. But it’s another fantastic statement from Haley Fohr and Circuit Des Yeux. (Dom)
Check out a track here.