Haley Fohr (aka Circuit des Yeux)Â has been around since 2007 with her debut releasing on the De Stijl label. Her album prior to this, Overdue, was self-released and this time around forÂ In Plain Speech, the esteemed Chicago labelÂ Thrill JockeyÂ snatched her up. As per tradition,Â Thrill JockeyÂ is keeping a rather tight lip on what this is going to sound like for now, with only a fifty second preview. The beginning and the end remind me faintly of Her Space Holiday’s “Hassle Free Harmony” and I use the word “faintly” Â because Fohr, in these fifty seconds, builds an intimidating impression of intensity in no time at all; “Hassle Free Harmony” bridges from that heavily arpeggiated synthesizer in to this crash-and-swell arrangement while Fohr gets straight in to the crash part. This time around she also has many a guest to help her out and this teaser just left me wanting to hear more, which means it’s done its job. Check out the teaser below via the Vimeo video and see what you think of it. Cheers!
Haley Fohrâ€™s music strikes a unique balance between the personal and universal. As Circuit des Yeux she creates music that embodies the complexity of human emotions, juxtaposing tenderness and grief, ecstasy and horror, using sounds as representations of the emotional spectrum that we all experience. Fohrâ€™s striking voice, an impassioned baritone, is the musicâ€™s centerpiece and guiding force. On In Plain Speech, Fohr is joined by some of the most progressive musicians in the Chicago music community; Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas), Whitney Johnson (Verma), Rob Frye (Bitchin Bajas), Adam Luksetich (Little Scream), and Kathleen Baird (Spires That In The Sunset Rise). Fohr cements her reputation as a fearless songwriter and inventive arranger with this stirring collection of songs that are both gorgeous and emotionally potent.
In Plain Speech represents the start of a new, more collaborative chapter for Circuit des Yeux. While previous works were solo affairs, not only in performance, but emotionally tied to a sense of confinement and place, these new songs were composed after a move to a collective living space, giving Fohr an opportunity to break free of the isolation that informed her previous albums. Fohr brought her community, literally, to the recording. In Plain Speech continues her collaboration with Crain, but it is her first recording with a full band, who are all leaders in Chicago's new wave of creative musicians. Her songs, while always potent when delivered solo, shine in this new band context. Companionship and solidarity are themes woven throughout the album. â€śDo The Dishesâ€ť is a meditation on sisterhood, and a message to other women to take risks, follow their passions deeply and to love themselves. â€śFantasize the Sceneâ€ť explores the idea of eternal friendship.
Extensive touring after Circuit des Yeuxâ€™s acclaimed 2013 album Overdue influenced the making of the album in several ways. On that tour, which stretched for months throughout Europe and the US, Fohr toured solo, no band, no tour manager, no driver, and in that solitude learned to commune with the audience in a way that she hadnâ€™t ever before. That connection sparked in her mind a conversation with the audience, and many of the lyrics on In Plain Speech are directed at â€śyou,â€ť the listener. She also became acutely aware of disquiet, a pervasive anxiety, which permeated society in almost every city she visited. â€śI felt an uneasiness that superseded phonetic communication,â€ť she writes. â€śSomething dim is in the air, and it is looming large.â€ť This anxiety creeped into songs like â€śA Story Of This World,â€ť which is a call for change of priorities and values among the worldâ€™s leadership.
Fohr will tour with the musicians who play on In Plain Speech throughout 2015. If the bandâ€™s debut show is any indication, these shows will be lush and captivating, the band enhancing her already compelling performances. Fohr self-released her 2013 album Overdue, which was praised by NPR, Pitchfork, Tiny Mix Tapes, and more - an impressive display of support for an artist working on her own. 2015 will certainly bring many more exciting chapters in Fohrâ€™s ongoing story.
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive