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The MataBlog is edited by Matador Records’ co-moaner Gerard Cosloy and individual entries are the work of whoever’s name is next to them. If you enjoyed something in the MataBlog, thank you very much! If there was something you found particularly troubling, please be advised that a) maybe you should read it again and b) the contents of this blog do not necessarily represent the opinions of Matador Records, Beggars Group, the combined staff of either company, nor the Matador artist roster. Opinions are like friends — hardly anyone has one worth listening to.

Circuit des Yeux - "Double Dare"



Circuit des Yeux's cover of Bauhaus' "Double Dare", previously issued as a Qobuz exclusive, is now available for streaming or download on all streaming services.

stream / download "Double Dare"
stream/purchase  '-io'



(photo by Evan Jenkins)

“‘Double Dare’ is a song filled with immense power. Listening to it helps decimate my fear. My favorite part about the CdY interpretation of ‘Double Dare’ is the way Whitney (Johnson) represents the screeching guitar part with a viola and overdrive pedal. The way the harmonics and feedback bounces and resonates around in THX Spatial Audio feels like being in the eye of a tornado. If ‘Double Dare’ is an anecdote to fear, this cover of ‘Double Dare’ in THX Spatial Audio ups the dosage.” -Haley Fohr

Circuit des Yeux on Tour

Thursday, September 22 Chicago Theater, Chicago IL *
Friday, September 23 Chicago Theater, Chicago IL *
Saturday, September 24 Masonic Temple, Detroit MI *
Monday, September 26 Massey Hall, Toronto ON *
Monday, October 3 Slaktkyrkan, Stockholm SE
Tuesday, October 4 Blå, Oslo NO
Wednesday, October 5 FOLK, Göthenborg SE
Thursday, October 6 ALICE at Ideal Bar, Copenhagen DK
Saturday, October 8 Meetfactory, Prague CZ
Tuesday, October 11 Volkstheater, Vienna AT
Wednesday, October 12 Linhart Hall Ljubljana SI
Thursday, October 13 Freakout, Bologna IT
Friday, October 14 Le Ciel, Grenoble FR
Tuesday, October 18 Café Berlin, Madrid ES
Wednesday, October 19 Culturgest, Lisbon PT
Thursday, October 20 Gnration, Braga PT
Friday, October 21 Auditorio de Espinho, Espinho PT

* w/ Pavement

Circuit des Yeux Online

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Pavement - Fall 2022 Tour Support



Supporting acts for Pavement's Fall 2022 tour have been announced today, including performances from 75 Dollar Bill, Annalibera, Circuit des Yeux, Film School, Guerilla Toss, Horsegirl, Kelley Stoltz, Piranha Rama, Steve Gunn, The Goon Sax, and Weak Signal during their North American run. Remaining tickets for Pavement's upcoming dates are below.

Stream / Purchase Circuit des Yeux's -io

Pre-save / Pre-order Horsegirl's Versions of Modern Performance

Stream / Purchase Steve Gunn's Other You

Stream / Purchase The Goon Sax's Mirror II

Stream / Pre-order Pavement's Westing (By Musket And Sextant)

Stream / Pre-order Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted (3oth Anniversary Colored Vinyl)

Stream / Purchase Pavement's Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal





















Pavement on Tour
Thursday, June 2 Primavera Sound, Barcelona ES
Friday, June 10 NOS Primavera Sound, Porto PT
Wednesday, September 7 Balboa Theatre, San Diego CA (SOLD OUT) !
Thursday, September 8, Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles CA (SOLD OUT) !
Friday, September 9 Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles CA (SOLD OUT) !
Saturday, September 10 Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles CA (SOLD OUT) @
Monday, September 12 The Masonic, San Francisco CA @
Tuesday, September 13 The Masonic, San Francisco CA @
Wednesday, September 14 The Masonic, San Francisco CA #
Friday, September 16 Edgefield Amphitheatre, Troutdale OR #
Saturday, September 17 The Paramount Theatre, Seattle WA (SOLD OUT) #
Monday, September 19 Paramount Theatre, Denver CO $
Tuesday, September 20 Uptown Theater, Kansas City MO $
Wednesday, September 21 The Palace Theatre, St. Paul MN $
Thursday, September 22 Chicago Theatre, Chicago IL (SOLD OUT) %
Friday, September 23, Chicago Theatre, Chicago Theatre IL %
Sat, September 24 Masonic Cathedral Theatre, Detroit MI (SOLD OUT) %
Monday, September 26 Massey Hall, Toronto ON (SOLD OUT) %
Tuesday, September 27, Massey Hall, Toronto ON ^
Wed, September 28 Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston MA (SOLD OUT) ^
Friday, September 30 Kings Theatre, Brooklyn NY (SOLD OUT) ^
Saturday, October 1 Kings Theatre, Brooklyn NY (SOLD OUT) &
Sunday, October 2 Kings Theatre, Brooklyn NY (SOLD OUT) *
Monday, October 3, Kings Theatre, Brooklyn NY =
Wednesday, October 5 The Met, Philadelphia PA (SOLD OUT) >
Thursday, October 6 Warner Theatre, Washington DC (SOLD OUT) >
Saturday, October 8 The Eastern, Atlanta GA (SOLD OUT) +
Sunday, October 9 The Eastern, Atlanta GA (SOLD OUT) +
Monday, October 10, 3Ten At ACL Live, Austin TX (SOLD OUT) +
Tuesday, October 11 ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Austin TX (SOLD OUT)
Monday, October 17th 02 Academy, Leeds UK
Tuesday, October 18th Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow UK (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday October 19th Usher Hall, Edinburgh UK
Thursday, October 20th 02 Apollo, Manchester UK
Saturday, October 22nd Roundhouse, London UK (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, October 23rd Roundhouse, London UK
Monday, October 24th Roundhouse, London UK
Tuesday, October 25th Roundhouse, London UK
Thursday, October 27th Le Grand Rex, Paris FR
Saturday, October 29th Vega, Copenhagen DK
Sunday, October 30th Sentrum Scene, Oslo NO
Monday, October 31st SE Cirkus, Stockholm SE
Wednesday, November 2nd VoxHall, Aarhus DK
Friday, November 4th Pier 2, Bremen DE
Saturday, November 5th Tempodrom, Berlin DE
Monday, November 7th Cirque Royal, Brussels BE
Tuesday, November 8th Royal Carré Theater, Amsterdam NL
Thursday, November 10th Vicar Street, Dublin IE (SOLD OUT)
Friday, November 11th Vicar Street, Dublin IE (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, February 15 Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo JP
Thursday, February 16 Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo JP
Saturday, February 18 Namba Hatch, Osaka JP

! w/ Film School
@ w/ Kelley Stoltz
# w/ Guerilla Toss
$ w/ Annalibera
% w/ Circuit des Yeux
^ w/ The Goon Sax
& w/ 75 Dollar Bill
* w/ Horsegirl
= w/ Steve Gunn
> w/ Weak Signal
+ w/ Piranha Rama

Pavement Online
Pavement – official site
Pavement at Bandcamp
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Circuit des Yeux Online
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website

Horsegirl Online
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Steve Gunn Online
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Steve Gunn.com

The Goon Sax Online
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official website

Bandcamp Friday : Snail Mail - 'Valentine' ,14% Off, Plus A Plethora Of Matador Catalog Titles Available On BC For The First TIme







Bandcamp are waiving their revenue share today (Friday, February 4) and with the unselfishness being contagious, we’re putting Snail Mail’s ‘Valentine’ on sale for 14% off today only

https://matadorrecords.bandcamp.com/music

New to Bandcamp this week:

Pavement – Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe (digital only)
Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA’s Desert Origins (digital only)
Lucy Dacus – “Kissing Lessons” download / 7” pre-order (Out June 3)
Circuit des Yeux – “The Manatee” (digital only)

And there's new-to-Bandcamp catalog titles from  Bailter Space, Body/Head, CEREMONY, Chavez, Kurt Vile, Lucy Dacus, Mary Timony, MUZZ, Perfume Genius, Snail Mail, Spoon, Stephen Malkmus, Steve Gunn, and The New Pornographers.

Circuit des Yeux - "The Manatee (A Story of The World, Pt. III)"



"The Manatee : A Story of The World, Pt. III"
directed by Ruby Rubio
Concept by Haley Fohr





(photo : Evan Jenkins)

Today, we bring you a brand-new Circuit des Yeux song and video, “The Manatee (A Story of This World Pt. III.” Recorded during the sessions for last year’s masterful and multi-layered full-length '-io', “The Manatee” is a shift in mood – serene astral folk sewn up with whirring aquatic interludes.

Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr on “The Manatee”:
At 4:30 A.M. on February 4th, 2020 a manatee popped out of the sea and stared directly at me. It was a charged 10 seconds. The experience stuck with me so much that I wrote a song about it.

The music video (directed by Rudy Rubio) is a depiction of my own kind of manatee. I play a wet sea creature trying to make it work in a dry-land society. It is inspired by the scientific understanding that the manatee crawled into the ocean 50,000,000 years ago. The manatee is my reminder that intuition and two legs might be all a person needs to find a more hospitable world - perhaps an undiscovered place to call home.

stream / download "The Manatee"
(stream/purchase  '-io')

This spring, Fohr will once again hit the road, bringing '-io' to audiences in North America, Europe, and the UK. Find the complete itinerary below.



Circuit des Yeux on tour (new dates in bold) :

Friday, February 25 Freemont Abbey, Seattle WA
Saturday, February 26 Anita, Astoria OR
Sunday, February 27 The Old Church, Portland OR
Tuesday, March 1 Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco CA
Wednesday, March 2 Pico Union Project, Los Angeles CA
Thursday, March 17 SXSW (QoBuz Showcase), Austin TX
Friday, March 25 Pilot Light (Big Ears Festival), Knoxville TN
Saturday, March 26 Pilot Light (Big Ears Festival), Knoxville TN
Saturday, April 2 Dampfzentrale, Bern CH &
Monday, April 4 HAU 1, Berlin DE
Wednesday, April 6 Milton Court, London UK $
Friday, April 8 Rewire Festival, Den Haag NL
Saturday, April 9 BRDCST Festival, Brussels BE
Monday, April 11 Centre Pompidou, Paris FR
Wednesday, April 13 L’Auditorium du Conservatoire, Lilles FR
Tuesday, May 3 7th St. Entry, Minneapolis MN
Wednesday, May 4 Cactus Club, Milwaukee WI
Friday, May 6 Englert Theatre, Iowa City IA
Saturday, May 7 Stephens Lake Amphitheatre, Columbia MO
Sunday, May 8 William A. Kerr Foundation, St. Louis MO
Monday, May 9 Rozz Tox, Rock Island IL
Thursday, June 2 Decca, Louisville KY
Friday, June 3 Crosstown Arts, Memphis TN
Saturday, June 4 The Earl, Atlanta GA
Sunday, June 5 The Grey Eagle, Asheville NC
Monday, June 6 PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia PA
Tuesday, June 7 Greenwood Cemetery (Pioneer Works), Brooklyn NY
Thursday, June 9 Epsilon Spires, Brattleboro VT
Friday, June 10 Centre PHI, Montreal QC
Saturday, June 11 Arts Court, Ottawa ON
Monday, June 13 918 Bathurst (Wavelength Music Series), Toronto ON
Tuesday, June 14 Trinosophes, Detroit MI
Thursday, June 16 Constellation, Chicago IL
Friday, June 17 Constellation, Chicago IL
September 1-4 End of the Road, Lamar Tree Gardens UK


& w/ Kaleidoscope String Quartet
$ w/ London Chamber Orchestra Soloists

Circuit des Yeux Online

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Steve Gunn - 'Nakama'



 



(photo : Duane Michals)


stream / download 'Nakama'
stream / purchase 'Other You'

Available today digitally, Steve Gunn’s 'Nakama' EP features reinterpretations of five songs from the guitarist’s recent full-length, 'Other You', created with close friends. This includes new studio recordings made alongside Mikey Coltun and Ahmoudou Madassane of Mdou Moctar, and Natural Information Society, as well as remixes by Circuit des Yeux and Bing & Ruth. The artwork was shot and sequenced by photographer Duane Michals.

These are not covers, exactly. Nor are they full-blown from-the-ground-up collaborations. It’s a third path – using Gunn’s song structures as a point of departure, seeking a new route through familiar ground. They expand on and illuminate the experimental impulses and meditative moods that guided 'Other You'.

“It touches on a lot of music that I love, but that I might not necessarily translate with the proper album”, says Gunn. “To give these songs to people that I admire and to see how they would return, knowing that their music is an inspiration to me, was really a cool opportunity. Joshua Abrams' bass playing, his group Natural Information Society, and his film soundtrack work have been an inspiration to me for some time now. I am grateful that I was able to travel to Chicago and work closely with Josh in his studio on ‘Good Wind’ and ‘On the Way’. Reimagining these songs with Josh, along with Lisa Alvarado's accompaniment, was a total joy. I arrived with the intention of keeping these songs open in seeing where they would go in working with Josh, and am very happy with the results.”

Mikey Coltun of Mdou Moctar said of the collaboration, “Ahmoudou and I wanted to give ‘Protection' a Tuareg feel. We knew we wanted to use field recordings from Niger and specifically Tende music, which is the drums and chanting you hear. We used drum machines which is an homage to Abdallah Oumbadougou, the first Niger Tuareg artist to do that in the ’90s.”

Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr sought to dial back the arrangement on ‘Ever Feel That Way’, foregrounding Gunn’s vocal. “By stripping back his guitar and adding some horns and effects, I worked to bolster his narration atop a pillowy and nocturnal environment,” she explains. “The result is quiet and intimate. It is a serenade for one that lays close to the heart.”

Bing & Ruth’s David Moore said: “It was a joy to get inside of Steve’s music and rearrange the furniture. ‘Reflection’ struck me instantly as a classic song that I wouldn’t want to stray too far from the original, so I added some piano and moved around a lot of the pieces until I found something somewhere between sunshine rock and a psychedelic opium den. Such a pleasure to get this one where it ended up.”

In February, Gunn will perform a three-show residency at Brooklyn’s Union Pool. Each set will be unique format – solo (2/1), Gunn-Truscinski Duo (2/8), and full-band (2/15). Openers include Laura Ortman, Bill Nace, and Bing & Ruth. All shows are free with RSVP.

Nakama Tracklist

  1. Protection (with Mikey Coltun and Ahmoudou Madassane of Mdou Moctar)

  2. Good Wind (with Natural Information Society)

  3. On The Way (with Natural Information Society)

  4. Ever Feel That Way (with Circuit des Yeux)

  5. Reflection (with Bing & Ruth)

    Steve Gunn on tour :


Tuesday, February 1 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (w/ Laura Ortman)
Tuesday, February 8 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (w/ Bill Nace) ^
Tuesday, February 15 Union Pool, Brooklyn NY (w/ Bing & Ruth)
Tuesday, March 29 Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown CA #
Wednesday, March 30 The Casbah, San Diego CA #
Thursday, March 31 Zebulon, Los Angeles CA *
Friday, April 1 Zebulon, Los Angeles CA *
Saturday, April 2 Zebulon, Los Angeles CA *
Monday, April 4 The Guild Theatre, Menlo Park CA #
Tuesday, April 5 The Chapel, San Francisco CA #
Wednesday, April 6 Sebastiani Theatre, Sonoma CA #
Friday, April 8 The Aladdin Theatre, Portland OR #
Saturday, April 9 Fawcett Hall, Tacoma WA #
Sunday, April 10 St. James Hall, Vancouver BC #
Monday, April 11 The Crocodile, Seattle WA #
Wednesday, April 13 Fox Theatre, Boulder CO
Thursday, April 14 Globe Hall, Denver CO
Friday, April 15 Three Lobed Festival, Durham NC
Saturday, April 16 Three Lobed Festival, Durham NC ^# w/ Jeff Parker
* "Steve Gunn, Jeff Parker & Friends"
^ Gunn-Truscinkski Duo

Steve Gunn Online
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Steve Gunn.com

Mdou Moctar/Mikey Coltun/Ahmoudou Madassane Online

Mdou Moctar.com
Mdou Moctar instagram
Mdou Moctar Facebook
Mdou Moctar Twitter
Mikey Coulton Instagram
Ahmoudou Madassane Instagram

Circuit des Yeux Online
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website

Natural Information Society Online
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website


Bing & Ruth Online
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Circuit des Yeux - Tiny Desk Concert



Circuit des Yeux has shared a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music this morning, including takes of three songs from her brand new album -io: "Vanishing," "Dogma," and "Stranger." The performance was captured at the May Chapel at Chicago’s Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum and features a string section that will join Circuit des Yeux on select upcoming dates.

Purchase / Stream -io

Circuit des Yeux on Tour
Sunday, November 21 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL *
Friday, February 25 Freemont Abbey, Seattle WA
Saturday, February 26 Anita, Astoria OR
Sunday, February 27 The Old Church, Portland OR
Tuesday, March 1 Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco CA
Wednesday, March 2 Pico Union Project, Los Angeles CA
Saturday, April 2 Dampfzentrale, Bern CH &
Monday, April 4 HAU 1, Berlin DE
Wednesday, April 6 Milton Court, London UK $
Friday, April 8 Rewire Festival, Den Haag NL
Saturday, April 9 BRDCST Festival, Brussels BE
Monday, April 11 Centre Pompidou, Paris FR
Wednesday, April 13 L’Auditorium du Conservatoire, Lilles FR

* w/ 16 piece orchestra
& w/ Kaleidoscope String Quartet
$ w/ London Chamber Orchestra Soloists

Circuit des Yeux Online
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Out Today: Circuit des Yeux - "-io"



Stream / purchase -io

Circuit des Yeux has released -io today, available to stream/download and purchase on vinyl and CD. Limited orange marble vinyl and shirt pictured above available exclusively on the Matador webstore / Bandcamp.





Knockdown Center will host Circuit des Yeux's record release show tonight, October 22nd. More performances will take place in Chicago, Europe and on the west coast next month and early next year.

Circuit des Yeux on Tour
Friday, October 22 Knockdown Center, Brooklyn NY *
Sunday, November 21 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL **
Friday, February 25 Freemont Abbey, Seattle WA
Saturday, February 26 Anita, Astoria OR
Sunday, February 27 The Old Church, Portland OR
Tuesday, March 1 Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco CA
Wednesday, March 2 Pico Union Project, Los Angeles CA
Saturday, April 2 Dampfzentrale, Bern CH &
Monday, April 4 HAU 1, Berlin DE
Wednesday, April 6 Milton Court, London UK $
Friday, April 8 Rewire Festival, Den Haag NL
Saturday, April 9 BRDCST Festival, Brussels BE
Monday, April 11 Centre Pompidou, Paris FR
Wednesday, April 13 L’Auditorium du Conservatoire, Lilles FR

* w/ Wordless Music Orchestra
** w/ 16 piece orchestra
& w/ Kaleidoscope String Quartet
$ w/ London Chamber Orchestra Soloists

Circuit des Yeux Online
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website

Circuit des Yeux - "Vanishing", 2022 Dates



"Vanishing"
written and directed by Haley Fohr



photo : Evan Jenkins

Circuit des Yeux (Haley Fohr) has released a new single and video taken from her Matador Records debut, '-io', out October 22nd. “Vanishing” is Circuit des Yeux at her most colossal, with driving strings that border on Bond theme-esque, leading to a howling chorus refrain with Fohr’s sonorous 4-octave voice at center stage. The self-directed video for “Vanishing” sees her veering between different personas and backdrops, channelling the multifaceted drama, absurdity and apocalypse which underpin the new album.

Fohr says:
Vanishing is an account of climate change and loss through the final stage of grief.

In this video I embody our evolving consciousness toward Earth and its health by representing four characters.

Lemonade Lady is the evasive optimist who is unwilling to acknowledge her changing surroundings.

Prepared Weather Person is the anxious prepper; ready for the worst and isolated by fear.

The Mortal Sufferer gets blown away in a field and serves as evidence that us corporeal beings are at the behest of our environment.

And Worm Girl personifies the stoic reality that all things human undoubtedly decompose in time.





(stream/download "Vanishing")
(presave/preorder '-io')

Circuit des Yeux has also announced European and North American tour dates for 2022. The live band, consisting of Fohr (vocals, guitar, sampler), Ashley Guerrero (drums), Andrew Scott Young (contrabass) and Whitney Johnson (viola), will be joined on select dates by a string section. This includes a special performance at the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court Concert Hall accompanied by a quintet of soloists from the London Contemporary Orchestra on April 6th. A full list of dates can be found below.

Circuit des Yeux on Tour
Friday, October 22 Knockdown Center, Brooklyn NY *
Sunday, November 21 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL **
Friday, February 25 Freemont Abbey, Seattle WA
Saturday, February 26 Anita, Astoria OR
Sunday, February 27 The Old Church, Portland OR
Tuesday, March 1 Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco CA
Wednesday, March 2 Pico Union Project, Los Angeles CA
Saturday, April 2 Dampfzentrale, Bern CH &

Monday, April 4 HAU 1, Berlin DE
Wednesday, April 6 Milton Court, London UK $
Friday, April 8 Rewire Festival, Den Haag NL
Saturday, April 9 BRDCST Festival, Brussels BE
Monday, April 11 Centre Pompidou, Paris FR
Wednesday, April 13 L’Auditorium du Conservatoire, Lilles FR


* w/ Wordless Music Orchestra
** w/ 16 piece orchestra
& w/ Kaleidoscope String Quartet
$ w/ London Chamber Orchestra Soloists

Circuit des Yeux Online

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Circuit des Yeux - "Sculpting the Exodus"



(Photo: Evan Jenkins)



Today, we bring you the second look at Circuit des Yeux’s Matador Records debut, -io. With sweeping strings and ornate vocal arrangements, “Sculpting the Exodus” brings the scale of the album’s ambition into sharp focus. The video was filmed in Chicago during the same session that yielded -io’s cover image, which captures vocalist/composer Haley Fohr suspended in void. To accomplish the shoot, Fohr trained with stunt coordinator Talin Chat (The Mandalorian) to perform a series of 5-7’ free-falls on camera.

Stream / Download "Sculpting the Exodus"

Pre-order / Pre-save -io

Fohr on “Sculpting the Exodus”:

What is Sculpting the Exodus?
It is devotion. It is the well.
It is my grandmother going into hospice, writhing in pain.
It is reality exploding on an island made of sand. It is depression and the isolation of deep grief.
I was trapped in a choir of myself with nothing to grab onto but echoes of past selves.
It obliterated my heart until the only working parts of me were the appendages furthest from my mind.
A few notes here
A couple notes there…
The fingers were working when nothing else could. And I was fantasizing of leaving like I always do…




Director of Photography by Connor Hartnett
Production by Leslie Deckard
Directed by Haley Fohr
Edited by Sabrina Nichols
Stunt Assistance by Creative Action Arts
HMU by Colleen O'Sullivan
Wardrobe by Bravais Lattice

Circuit des Yeux's Haley Fohr will take over Matador's Instagram today from Noon to Midnight eastern. Follow along HERE.



Circuit des Yeux on Tour
Friday, October 22 Knockdown Center, Brooklyn NY *
Sunday, November 21 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL **

* w/ Wordless Music Orchestra
** w/ 16 piece orchestra

Circuit des Yeux Online

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Facebook

Coming October 22 : Circuit des Yeux - '-io'





photo : Evan Jenkins

On October 22, Matador is releasing '-io', the sixth album by vocalist and composer Haley Fohr, best known as Circuit des Yeux.

A celebrated figure in Chicago’s music community, she has released acclaimed albums via De Stijl, Thrill Jockey, and Drag City and toured throughout the world. However, '-io' is Circuit des Yeux’s most ornate and elaborate work to date – a set of compositions that nest Fohr’s otherworldly four-octave voice amid a 24-piece string, brass, and wind ensemble. The album was put to tape last fall by Cooper Crain at Chicago’s Electrical Audio studio and mixed by Marta Salogni (Bjork, Holly Herndon) with Fohr acting as arranger and producer. Written in the wake of personal loss and recorded in the midst of the pandemic, '-io' maps a geography of grief – a place where “everything is ending all the time.” While Fohr’s music has never been short on ambition, these songs are striking in their brilliance and strangeness. On '-io', Circuit des Yeux has delivered a work that is vivid, immense, and fully illuminated.

(PRESAVE / PREORDER '-io')



("Dogma", directed by Haley Fohr, co-directed by Rudy Rudio)

(STREAM / DOWNLOAD "Dogma")

Fohr says of the first single “Dogma”: “Where there is faith there is violence. The story of civilization is complicated and layered with dogmas. At each individual’s incentive lies both a beacon and an instinct. The fool follows the outer while the idiot chases her interior. Society is a necessary subversion of the self. It is through time that our quiet alarms grow with great intensity until emancipation through implosion or explosion become imminent.”
This is how grief becomes a landscape.

Before the pandemic cast its weather of mourning on the world, and before she began weaving together her sixth album as Circuit des Yeux, '-io', Haley Fohr found herself grieving a close friend. For a time, the loss severed her from her art. A singular, celebrated figure in the Chicago experimental music scene, known for her arresting voice and the transportive moods she grows around it, Fohr had kept a steady creative practice since she first began recording her own music as a teenager. Grief ruptured that foundation. Fohr could not write for months, the longest fallow period she'd crossed since she experienced her first episode of major depression at 17.

In the winter just before the pandemic took hold in the United States, Fohr was scheduled to complete an artist's residency at Robert Rauschenberg's house in Florida. She wanted to finish a roster of new material before leaving, but the music would not budge. Stalled, she turned to the organ, away from her guitar, and started tracing shards of sound, grasping melodies that began, slowly, to lead somewhere. It was not what she had hoped to bring south, but it was a start.

"I went to the Robert Rauschenberg residency with this idea of trying to explore the hard work of joy. At that point, I had just been wallowing in this grief for so long. I thought, I want to write about joy. I know it's going to be hard work," Fohr says. "But when I was on this beach and in this really privileged, gorgeous place, I felt even more despondent. I thought it would be this balm, but instead it was just the saddest beach in my life."

After sunset on Captiva Island, the Florida sky would glow a deep, burnt orange. The striking image became a conduit between Fohr’s interiority and her environment, keeping her from experiential isolation, tethering her to reality. She carried that sky back to Chicago and kept it with her as the world shut down and mass death triggered grief on an incomprehensible scale. Through this, Fohr began to cultivate a world inside the world, a world called '-io', "a place where everything is ending all the time."

The sky over '-io' is Florida's strange, radiant orange. It's a built environment, unnatural, made from concrete and glass, with skyscrapers that stretch to the vanishing point as you gaze up at them. It's crumbling and suffocating, a city perpetually on the brink of collapse, where tension never topples over into catharsis, where the heat never breaks.

Inside this world and its closed loop of time, Fohr found herself able to begin moving again. "I was haunted by memories in the pandemic," she says. "As someone with PTSD, memories are all twisted up inside of me in a way that doesn't help my higher self. Making this album was once again an exercise of trying to relieve myself of some of that darkness in a way that music has always done for me."

Under lockdown, her typically collaborative songwriting practice became solitary. She wrote on piano and organ, instruments on a larger scale than her usual guitar that felt more "like a solid foundation you can stand on." Her lyrics kept returning to images of black holes and gravity, all-consuming phenomena that rend our common experience of physical reality. "I became obsessed with black holes, which is the ultimate gravitational pull," Fohr says. "It also makes such a synonymous metaphor to death. Things go in, they can only go one way. They go in and they never come out."

From that colossal gateway, songs began to form. They followed the disintegration of the world as it stands, the hard-wrought rituals and habits that are already beginning to fracture under the pressures of climate catastrophe, as on "Vanishing," where Fohr sings "goodbye" to everything she can see and touch around her. They pinned down claustrophobic moods through the threatening whispers of "The Chase," and they shook them loose with sweeping vocal runs, like those that lattice the slow, enveloping "Walking Toward Winter" and pierce the melancholic "Stranger," a chilling piano-and-string composition that was recorded live in a single take.

Working at home on her computer, Fohr wrote, arranged, and produced each note of '-io'. She wrote for a 23-piece orchestra, gathering strings, horns, and drums around her daring vocal melodies. She staged -io on a scale vaster than anything she'd recorded before, a scale that matched the enormity she'd weathered, big enough to hold the world in its tumult.

Under COVID restrictions, Fohr could only record with six other players in the studio at a time. She and her collaborators – 13 renowned musicians from Chicago’s jazz, classical, and experimental scenes – built -io layer by layer, entwining its pain with the clear yearning that sparks at its dark heart. Horns cry out like terrified and distant voices from the dizzying waltz of "Neutron Star." A spaghetti-western guitar reverberates as if in a cavern amid the percussive pummel of “Dogma.” Strings thrash against each other like sheets of rain amid "Vanishing's" apocalyptic thrum. Amid them, Fohr's voice rears in space, overdubbed to the point where it becomes an architecture of its own, at once the subject in the narrative and the surrounding environment. The effect is at once capacious and crushing, like being drawn into a gas giant.

This is what happens when you take grief's smothering and render it in space: It expands. It becomes something you can traverse. That quiet, impossible feeling of loss can suddenly be crossed. The body moves through it. What once seemed to be an impenetrable collapse turns into a site of possibility. From the wreckage, something grows, and the ruin is no longer a ruin. In all its smoldering and all its weight, it is simply a place to begin.  - Sasha Geffen.











 



Circuit des Yeux on Tour, New Dates in Bold on Sale This Friday

September 17-18, Basilica Soundscape, Chatham NY
Friday, October 22 Knockdown Center, Brooklyn NY
Sunday, November 21 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL **


* w/ Wordless Music Orchestra
** w/ 16 piece orchestra


Circuit des Yeux Online

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