Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature, Reviews

Gavin Brown Takes On Circuit Des Yeux | Interview Special

February 10, 2018

Back in August 2017 we announced the partnership between Drag City welcoming Circuit des Yeux to their roster with the October 20th release of new album ‘Reaching For Indigo’.

Vocalist, composer, and producer Haley Fohr has been Circuit des Yeux since she was eighteen years old. Born in the Year of the Dragon in Indiana’s own “Star City” – that’s Lafayette, IN! – she released records regularly over the past two decades, including four full-length albums, along with several mini-albums and singles.

Reaching for Indigo is the 5th album from Circuit des Yeux and is co-produced by Haley Fohr and Cooper Crain. It references a moment that fell down in the life of Haley Fohr on January 22, 2016. Reaching for Indigo adds to definition of Circuit des Yeux, as she realises her goal of becoming one of the most distinctive voices of this time.

Since then, the wonderful Gavin Brown spent some time absorbing all things ‘Reaching For Indigo‘ and shared his thoughts in a special album review, stating “Reaching For Indigo is an enchanting album and showcases the breath and range of the music of Circuit Des Yeux perfectly. It is music that seems simple but is utterly complex at the same time”.

The album soon becoming one of Gavin‘s favourites and now we are delighted to share a special interview between Gavin Brown and Circuit des Yeux. Read about the creation, the highly acclaimed 5th album release, live shows and more below….


Your brilliant new album Reaching For Indigo is out now, how did the creation and recording of the album go?

It was a multilayered process, and a mixture of moments of chaos and chiseled detail.

What inspired the albums title?

The title utilizes a color scientifically undefined, Indigo. It represents the sixth chakra of intuition & embodies the celebratory horizon humanity has constantly strived to reach.

The brilliant Brainshift opens the album in the most perfect way. Was that always the first choice song to open the album?

Brainshift was not the first song completed, but when it was finished I personally knew it would open the record.

What is that song about?

The song embodies a transitory time in ones life, where the air feels like glue and nonaction is the only correct action to take. Sometimes spanning time and just existing is enough.

What are some of the other songs about lyrically and sonically on the album, I’m particularly intrigued about Black Fly and Paper Bag?

Each song represents a specific personal thought or experience that was later repurposed for a universal message- something broader and larger than the reality at hand. I’m constantly struggling with existential thought- why are we here and what are we doing? Sonically and musically- I am always searching and trying to explore something new and undefined.

There are a range of emotions on the album, was it a challenge to tap into that wide range when you were making the album?

Yes, it was a very draining experience and took a lot of energy.

Reaching For Indigo is wide ranging in terms of sound but definitely sounds cohesive. Did you intend to have such a vivid sonic range for the album?

Yes, I’ve had a lot of these sounds in my head for years. It was just a matter of jotting them down & letting the songs come in an organic matter- to encapsulate my sonic world while remaining contextually cohesive. I like to stitch music together like scenes from a movie, where one sound cannot entirely exist without the other.

How does the album differ from your previous album In Plain Speech?

IPS was built on a very small budget (mainly an artist residency at Mission Creek Festival) and hodgepodged together via computer over a long period of time. RFI was much more hands on, collaborative, and each sound is intentional.

The album is dedicated to January 22nd 2016. Is that date significant to the album and why?

I had a very expansive moment on that day. It changed me and came down on me like a rock rolling down from the sky.

Who did you work with on Reaching For Indigo?

I collaborated very closely with Cooper Crain. Other collaborators included Tyler Damon, Ka Baird, Whitney Johnson, Joshua Abrams, Rob Frye, Brian Sulpizio, Ryley Walker and Lia Kohl.

Who or what inspires you as a singer?

I try to listen to as many vocalists as I can. I am especially interested in female vocalists. I really love Linda Sharrock.

There are lots of different types of sounds used on the album, who did you work with to create those?

Cooper Crain

How did the band start initially?

The project came about in 2007 after I dropped out of college.

What are some of the challenges you face as a musician in the year 2017/18 and do you use these challenges as a source of inspiration when it comes to making music?

The only challenge I face is financial. It’s hard to find any inspiration out of that other than innovation.

How do you feel about the rise of social media when it comes to music and how its consumed?

Social media is very hard for me. I see it as rather dangerous & in general, not very conducive for bringing people together. As a musician I am forced to use it for promotional purposes & try to keep my personal life and thoughts off line.

How would you describe a Circuit Des Yeux gig. I’d imagine it’d be an intense but beautiful experience?

I try to make it as immersive and dynamic as possible.

I’d like to experience a show for myself. Will you be making it over to the U.K. at any point in the new year?

Yes, I will be playing Brighton & London this February and Manchester & Glasgow in May of this year.

What about other touring plans for the next year?

I am touring extensively throughout the year and look forward to each show.

How did your recent tour of America and Canada go?

It was wonderful- I couldn’t feel more supported.

You did a show at Rough Trade in New York when the album came out, how did that show go?

It was a packed room full of active and respectful listeners. I have the best audience!

What are your favourite record shops in the world and why?

Well I like Reckless because it is in my home town. I also like Record Exchange in Boise ID, A Separate Reality in Cincinnati, OH Amoeba in San Fransisco CA, Academy in Greenpoint, NY & Slow Boy records in Düsseldorf DE

What was the first record you ever bought and what effect did it have on you?

I bought a Brainbombs EP & a Billie Holiday record. I think you can hear both influences in my sonic territory.

Which album has inspired you most in your life?

I can’t really say – I love all types of music.

Did you play much of the new album at those shows?

Yes, we play the album in its entirety.

What is your favourite song to play in a live environment?

It changes depending on the environment.

Where are some of your favourite places in the world to play?

I have no favourites because I love them all.

A huge thank you to Circuit des Yeux and Gavin Brown for spending some time sharing details about the act’s vision, live shows and more.


Be sure to catch Circuit des Yeux live at the following dates:

2018 Tour Dates

13/2/2018 at ACCA in Brighton, UK w/ TALsounds
14/2/2018 at The Lexington in London, UK w/ TALsounds
15/2/2018 at Vooruit in Gent, BE w/ TALsounds
16/2/2018 at Espace B in Paris, FR w/ TALsounds
17/2/2018 at Worm in Rotterdam, NL w/ TALsounds
19/2/2018 The Rest Is Noise/Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, NL w/ TALsounds
20/2/2018 at Gewolbe in Koln, DE w/ TALsounds
21/2/2018 at Rotondes in Luxembourg, LU w/ TALsounds

25/4 at Centro Cultural Manuel Benito Moliner in Huesca, ES
26/4 at Sala 0 in Madrid, ES
27/4 at MAC Museum in A Coruna, ES
28/4 at Auditorio de Espinho in Espinho, PT
29/4 at ZDB in Lisbon, PT
1/5 at La [2] de Apolo in Barcelona, ES
4/5 at Kammerspiele in Munich, DE
5/5-6/6 at Donaufestival in Krems, AT
7/5 at Trafo in Jena, DE
13/5 at National Concert Hall in Dublin, IE
14/5 at Mono in Glasgow, UK
15/5 at Soup Kitchen in Manchester, UK

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