DIVINE CIRCLES: Pitchfork Premieres New Track From USX String Contortionist’s Solo Debut

photo by Erika Taylor

Today Pitchfork kicks off your weekend in style with a premiere of “Midwest” from DIVINE CIRCLES’ debut offering, Oblivion Songs.

DIVINE CIRCLES is a vivid solo venture from USX violin manipulator Meghan Mulhearn. Known for pushing the limits of traditional string playing in an effort to explore the violin’s potential as an instrument far beyond orthodox composition, Mulhearn utilizes effects and electronics, novel techniques in plucking and strumming and uses the violin as a vocal resonator. Her eccentric approach, often compared to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Warren Ellis of Dirty Three/Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and more experimental artists such as Aidan Baker and Steve Reich, conjures evocative, visceral and textural elements, often unrecognizable as originating from a violin at all.

The tribal ritual that is “Midwest” comes by way of DIVINE CIRCLESOblivion Songs, an absorbing five-track sound collage defined most succinctly as a beautiful collection of intimate and experimental songcraft filtered through the Appalachian dusk. Notes Pitchfork, “On ‘Midwest,’ Mulhearn’s voice is pure and gentle, hinting of Appalachia. It radiates warmth, inviting the listener to lean in closer to catch every breathy syllable and heartfelt lyric while the song itself rumbles softly beneath like oncoming thunder.”

Breathe deep to the resonance of “Midwest” now playing at THIS LOCATION.

Oblivion Songs was recorded at Fahrenheit Studio with Travis Kammeyer (A Storm of Light, USX, Generation of Vipers, This Mountain, Ocoai), mastered by James Plotkin (OLD, Scorn, Khanate, Khlyst) and is out now on limited edition vinyl via Paradigms Recordings. Order your copy today HERE.

“These carefully-constructed songs take their time to build, layering on more and more foundations of heady instrumentation until they’re all but swirling skyward in heedless, drunken rapture. Mulhearn’s vocal tone carries a hint of her Appalachian locale, a reminder of how the mountain folk tradition manifests in all kinds of music, even the most experimental… Mulhearn has crafted a truly impressive, genre-defying statement here, and it’ll be more than thrilling to see where her musical travels take her next.” – A Closer Listen

DIVINE CIRCLES keeps their sounds intimate and calm, slowly building the track in the round, with the violinist taking up the bow later on with gorgeous swells of arboreal melodies along with those slow dirgy guitars and some haunted female vocalizations.” — Aquarius Records