DIVINE CIRCLES: Solo Offering From USX String Contortionist Streaming In Full At A.V. Club

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

On Oblivion Songs, Mulhearn manifests a wholly spellbinding, five-track sound collage; a soothing collection of intimate and experimental songcraft filtered through the Appalachian dusk. Released late last year via UK-based Paradigms Recordings, the offering 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 continues to earn the adoration of fans and critics nationally for its magnetic, folk-laden beauty.

In commemoration of its release, today The Onion’s A.V. Club is streaming the record in its entirety, rightly noting that, “Albums come, albums go, and it’s easy for most of them to get swept up in the pitiless march of pop-culture progress. Which is partly why Oblivions Songs… is so heart-stopping. The album’s five tracks aren’t the stuff of a quick skim; absorbing and subtle, they’re built around Mulhearn’s shadowy violin, entrancing loops, and stately, shimmering voice. From the elegant melancholy of ‘Leave’ to the cosmic-Appalachian folk of ‘Hymn,’ Oblivion Songs evokes an ancient-sounding soulfulness one that provides a stark counterpoint to her far heavier work with her main band, U.S. Christmas.”

Get swept away by Oblivion Songs at THIS LOCATION.

Oblivion Songs is currently available in limited edition vinyl via Paradigms Recordings. Order your copy today HERE.

“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.” – Pitchfork

Oblivion Songs is dark without being gloomy, its dissonance suggesting a willingness to embrace an ever-present tension rather than seeking catharsis or resolution.” – Exclaim!

Oblivion Songs is less about a ‘band’ and more a statement about how one artist with a distinct and thrilling vision can compose music that brings the listener into their world. Even if it’s just a brief, fleeting glimpse inside someone’s soul it can be enough to reach you from a million miles away and to permanently leave its mark on you. ” – Lonesome Noise

“Remember how badass the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack was? It’s kind of like that. This record also makes me think of what Viking sex music might have been like, or maybe even was.” – Fabricoh Music

“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