Circuit des Yeux

Reaching for Indigo

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AllMusic Review by

Haley Fohr's sixth full-length as Circuit des Yeux was inspired by a powerful moment in her life that occurred on January 22, 2016. Essentially, some unseen force made her move out of her residence in order to prepare for a massive wave of changes and affirmation from the universe. Her sensitivity toward colors was heightened, particularly red and blue. She refers back to the moment in early 2016 as a source of inspiration, and Reaching for Indigo (a color signifying intuition) is based on that moment. The album's lyrics reflect on themes such as considering one's place in the universe and making steps toward changing one's life. The music feels lush and vast, with droning strings and synthesizers courtesy of returning collaborators like Cooper Crain and Whitney Johnson, but Fohr's deep, commanding voice is in the center of everything. The musicians excel at creating a grand, expressive sound from a seemingly limited palette -- early highlight "Black Fly" is a mini spaghetti Western-esque epic that begins with stately mandolin strumming and gradually builds up squirming synths and crashing drums, and ends up with strings that buzz exactly like insects. "Paper Bag" features spiraling synths and minimalist vocal arrangements, tumbling into a fractured yet funky rhythm and rising from there, ending up one of the album's sweetest, richest songs. The lyrics advise to "Stick your head into a paper bag," but it's about self-discovery, not suffocation, and the music is based on that. "A Story of This World Part II" is a rough, lo-fi garage rock ramble with Fohr howling and speaking in an invented language. This is followed by "Call Sign E8," a brief, bizarre UFO transmission that might perhaps be a musical interpretation of Fohr's moment of cosmic calling. With Reaching for Indigo, Fohr has done a remarkable job at translating a hard-to-define, life-changing event into powerful music.

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