Little was known about Circe when she released her debut single "Blood and Wine" on Jazz Life, the label set up by Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Blood Red Shoes, three years ago. It was a promising track, clearly indebted to the sweeping drama of bands like The National, but nothing much came of it. One more song, "Barely Breathing" came out in February 2019, finding her halfway between those folky crescendos and something much shinier.
There's not much out there about Circe now, either, but "Ten Girls," her third official release on Jazz Life is premiering below. With its hyper-condensed beat and thrumming synths, it marks an almost complete transformation from "Blood and Wine." No guitars or grand crescendos this time, just a serpentine dark-pop single that nods to Margaret Atwood. "'Ten Girls' was inspired by The Handmaids Tale — ‘There are ten marks on this cross’ — a poetic but disturbing view of women living in a dystopian, oppressive world," Circe wrote in an email to The FADER. "This chimes with my own fractured generation of cancel culture, swipes of sex, and revenge porn."
Listen to "Ten Girls" below ahead of its release on DSPs tomorrow, July 29.