Listen to CIRCUS TREES

I’m tempted to skip over the story of Circus Trees, and ask you to concentrate solely on their music. The Massachusetts outfit’s debut album, ‘Delusions’, out next month, is a swirling whirl of slowcore, post-rock, and heavy-textured melancholy. In the band’s own words, “Our songs are of pain, sadness, loss. Our music drones, grinds, floats. We make this for us, and only us, but revel in the joy of sharing this with those who get it, feel it, are touched by it.”

What they don’t say, is that, since forming in 2018, the trio have improved at an impressive rate. Their first single, ‘Floating Still’, was a fine, fuzzy, grungy start. Their 2019 EP, ‘Sakura’, was much improved, featuring more emotional vocals and bolder arrangements. But their first full-length is even better. The six tracks of ‘Delusions’ unfurl over 40 minutes and each one feels focussed and finished and rich. There are genre signposts, but there are also bold songwriting decisions that don’t really tie the band to any one sound. It just sounds great.

This would be a notable album no matter who recorded it then. But (and here’s the story) Circus Trees are comprised of three sisters, Giuliana, Finola, and Edmee McCarthy, aged 18, 16 and 14 respectively. That this is the work of people so young is stunning. Every time I think about it I get confused and impressed all over again. And, yes, for those doing the maths, that means the youngest among them wasn’t even a teenager when they started. Based on how much better they’ve gotten since they began, and how much time they still have to improve, Circus Trees are set for much bigger things.

For fans of Julien Baker, Caspian, and Emma Ruth Rundle.

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