Stepping away from some of the noisier elements of her past, the latest Circuit Des Yeux album embraces Haley Fohr’s inherit power while letting in a lushness that’s perhaps evaded her in the past. Fohr enlisted labelmate Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin’ Bajas) to help bring to life the disorienting world of her most affecting record to date. Starkly reminiscent of her recent diversion as Jackie Lynn, a country-tinged persona that leaned more Arthur Russell than Gram Parsons, here she takes the same barren delivery as a starting point, her voice unencumbered by effects and hanging at the center of the record like a glowing jewel. In contrast to her work as Lynn, though, she pads out the accompanying landscape with lush psychedelics, frothing electronics and disorienting shreds of folk.
While the lyrics hint at a narrative of being seen and unseen – hiding in plain sight and promising no more than existence to outside forces, the album’s instrumentation is made to be heard and felt and lived in. Fohr has been more caustic in her approach in the past, still riding a crest of strings with somber resolve, but for Indigo she’s widened the scope to a full geodesic cavern of sound, enveloping the listener in tones that touch Kosmiche and psych-folk like never before. Highlights, “Black Fly” and “Paper Bag” dip the listener by the heel into the kind of sound womb that begs for headphones.
Fohr’s voice has always been a phenomenal asset, but with the release of Reaching for Indigo she’s finally found the perfect ecosystem to support her supernatural range. This is far and away her most potent and piecing record, while remaining her most accessible as well.
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