Circuit Des Yeux

A new venue for me and a new artist. I had been convinced by friends that Circuit Des Yeux was extraordinary earlier in the year. Personally, I found her most recent album a bit waring. I find operatic female voices need to be used sparingly. To me operatic female vocals feel like artifice. I don’t enjoy them in Classical music, and usually even less so in indie. There are notable exceptions, Anna Calvi manages to use her vocals to enhance her soaring guitar licks. They play off each other. However, listening to Haley’s vocals on her album ‘-io’, I found Haley’s baritone vocals unnatural and waring to my ears. But when friends are so positive about her, you know there will be something to like.

It was also an opportunity to check out St Matthias Church in Dalston. Daylight Music were going to use it a few weeks later, so tonight would act as a scouting mission.

First up was Aga Ujma, a Polish harp player. I felt she was trying too hard to be ‘quirky’ with a Bjork-like childish vocal and weird vocal gymnastics. I didn’t dislike the performance. But it didn’t work for me.

Aga Ujma playing the harp

In some ways. Circuit Des Yeux was similar. It would be unfair to say I didn’t enjoy her performance, I did. I can see why friends love her performances. While this was a ‘stripped back’ performance, she made the whole church her stage, going down the isles, taking her expressive performance to whole audience. Sadly, I couldn’t get past her vocals. They are too ‘affected’ for me. You just don’t hear baritone female vocals in daily life. For the first few songs it was okay. After a few, the vocals just felt artificial to me. Performance wise, she was excellent. I am sure her full show is impressive and I will give her another try. Just vocally, she didn’t work for me tonight