Never mind the novelty of three teenage sisters forming a band together because Circus Trees as an artistic unit is so much more than that. Sure, there’s the family aspect in this but it’s the fluidity and union of which the McCarthy sisters coordinate and cooperate which makes the music produced so magical.
But I digress.
The most important thing here is that Circus Trees is back with new music in the form of their debut full-length, Delusions, which is a record that has something for everyone. Like it heavy and dense? They’ve got that! Like music that’s earnest and has something to say? They’ve got that, too! Like music that seizes the general feel of 2020 in a glorious forty minutes? Well, you’ll be hard pressed to find another body of music in that captures this year’s all around vibe as well as Delusions does.
“Wasted Air” is , quite simply, a gorgeous start. Like hearing the, ahem, marriage between Marriages’ Kitsune with Carissa Johnson as their frontperson, the track is stunning with a veritable hum that is overwhelming when guitar, bass, and drums meet and just click. Finola McCarthy as a vocalist has grown so much in such a relatively short time (The vocal maturity from last year’s Sakura alone is astounding). More soulful, more emotive, more everything, Finola manages to embody this mood that Circus Trees as a whole encapsulate.
“Wicked” is saccharine with the subtle delicacy of the pluckings from Edmee’s bass playing pairing perfectly with Finola’s words which are hushed to start then howling during a grandiose chorus. “Breath” languishes for a sprawling seven and a half minute as Finola laments before offering glimmers of light from the dark with Giuliana’s subdued pulses exploding in poignant pounding as the fuzz from Finola and Edmee’s instruments illuminate the dense song.
“Confronting Time” is glowing on a song that’s just classic Circus Trees and the sound of a unified front while later, it’s songs like “Memories” where listeners get to really appreciate that majesty of Finola’s voice when it is laid bare and vulnerable, wavering at times with a yearning and on full display like an open wound. Culminating with “Till We’re Dead”, this track is up there with the latest slabs of excellence from Failure and Hum with a pure fuzz reverberating and electrifying the entirety of the track as it wraps up Delusions in a staggering eight minute epic like only Circus Trees could.