NPR is still keeping their social distance by having the participants other now-established Tiny Desk Concert series perform from their own desks of varying sizes at home. In fact, some of them aren’t even performing with desks in the frame – we don’t come here for the music, people, we come here for the desks. They’re still churning out new concerts at a furious pace, and recently the institution welcomed Haley Fohr, under her moniker Circuit Des Yeux.
Fohr recently released her latest LP -io, a trippy mix of ambient, electronica, and experimental noises that makes for an alternately mediative and combative listening experience. However dense or open the tracks are, the one constant is that they all sound nearly impossible to replicate in a live setting. But that’s just what Fohr does, bringing in both a rock band a string trio to flesh out these songs.
At the very least, Fohr acknowledges how lazy some of her fellow artists have gotten with the Tiny Desk concept (I’m looking at you, Camila Cabello. Good on Dua Lipa for realising how essential the desk is) by staging the whole set as taking place inside a teeny tiny knick knack desk. Fohr’s as much of a visual artist as she is a musician, so it’s a nice touch.
Fohr kicks through three songs from -io, including the album’s most rock adjacent track ‘Vanishing’. Especially in a live setting, Fohr’s deep contralto vocals take on a heavily gothic nature, turning the entire performance into a modern post-punk provocation. It’s a wonderfully alternative to the more stripped down and straightforward Tiny Desk performances that usually occur, using the echoing cathedral setting to maximum effect.
Check out Circuit Des Yeux’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, plus her 2022 European tour dates, down below. -io is available to buy and stream now.