Category Archives: phoenix

Phoenix: Rising from the ashes

OK, so maybe this header applies more to the legendary mythical bird than the French-born band version of Phoenix. They’ve not come from the ashes so to speak, since riding high on the success of their last release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix back in 2009. Regardless, they have been one of my favourite acts for a while, especially after seeing them live for the first time at one of the most stunning venues I’ve ever stepped foot inside, The Orpheum in Vancouver.

But they went missing for a while. You have noticed only about a month ago I posted 5 albums to look out for in early 2013 and this was one of them. At the time it was very hush hush about when the first single was to drop but finally it’s here and received a good flogging of enthusiasm on social media. Sadly, I’m a bit late to the punch. But nevertheless, I am a massive fan of Phoenix, so I absolutely have to plug their newest single, Entertainment. 

Entertainment is a weird mix of past Phoenix combined with an exciting musical avenue that they will hopefully be exploring in the wider album. The verse sounds like it could have easily fit in amongst the sterling track listing of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, yet comes with it a kind of fast-paced ruggedness that I have only noticed in a quiet few of their past tracks. The chorus, to be honest, takes a little getting used to. I read an article raving about this track that admitted it took 12 solid listens to fully appreciate it. I’m not up to 12 but I see where the guy is coming from. It’s not the catchiest thing you’ve ever heard. But it’s Phoenix,so you’ll of course give it a solid go and like most of their songs, end up loving it.

Can’t wait for the full album to drop. It’s going to be called Bankrupt! and if Phoenix are the same band I think they are, it should be an absolute machine. In the meantime, what does everyone else think of the new single, Entertainment?


5 Albums To Look For In 2013

Gold Fields – Black Sun (March)

My favourite new Australian band are set to release their debut album “Black Sun” this coming March and I couldn’t be more excited. They’ve been very slow to release any information or early tracks which is only helping to build the excitement world wide. The first single off the album “Dark Again (Lights Out)” is already on the Triple J hit list as well as getting smashed out daily on Channel V and has previously received a number one spot on this blog.

Black Sun is the product of a journey that began in the summer of 2011, when the band decamped to Los Angeles to spend six weeks working with producer Mickey Petralia (Ladytron, Peaches) and then retreated to a remote Australian farm manor to continue writing songs, which they later recorded with Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Sleepy Jackson, Silverchair) as co-producer/engineer. After learning a lot from both Horscroft and Petralia, Gold Fields decided to re-record and produce the whole album themselves in leader singer Mark Fuller’s parents garage in Ballarat.

Phoenix – TBA (April)

Word on the street is that Phoenix have done some recordings for the new album, presumably titled TPC, and describe it as very experimental. In an interview with Pedestrian.tv at Sydney’s Good Vibrations Festival, Thomas Mars and Deck D’Arcy revealed that the new recordings might be a departure from the ‘hooky pop’ of their last album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

In the interview they mentioned a lot of drum machines and percussions will be influencing the new tracks as well as some orchestral parts but an interesting comment was made about recording with percussionists in Byron Bay. Although I do dig experimental Phoenix, I’m really hoping the album isn’t traditional Byron Bay style a.k.a bongo’s over a homeless guy that can barely play two chords on a rusty guitar. I’m actually anticipating something more to the degree of their effort two albums ago in United. This band seems to skip styles every two albums, with It’s Never Been Like That sounding closer to 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and United being reminiscent of Alphabetical. 

Foals – Holy Fire (February)

Foals have taken nearly three years to deliver the sequel to Total Life Forever and let’s be honest, it had to be a good one. February in 2013 marks their third studio album, which is highly anticipated after the guys went quiet for quite some time.

Speaking to NME about the new album, frontman Yannis Philippakis recently said, “There are some heavier moments and some dirtier moments. It’s swampy, some of the grooves are quite stinky. There’s a track called ‘My Number’ that had a Curtis Mayfield groove which was pretty unashamedly funk, for want of a better word”.

I’m also heavily jealous of friends who are travelling the UK in the next few months as they also plan to tour pretty fiendishly following the release of this record, and with tracks like My Number and Inhaler already showcased it’s safe to say their shows will have gotten a shit tonne more enjoyable than the cargo loads of fun it already was.

Fenech-Soler – TBA (March-May)

Cult-status electronic rockers Fenech-Soler premiered the video for their single “All I know” back in October, 2012. As it was their first new original material in 2 years I was understandably excited for what is to come while the band finishes up their second album, slated for a Spring 2013 release. While no other songs have yet been heard, the first single has all the same anthemic quality that Demons had from their first album with big massive buildups carried by singer Ben Duffy’s voice crashing into pulsating four-to-the-floor drops. 

If this upcoming release is anything at all like their first studio album, fans and soon-to-be fans are going to be in for an absolute treat. These guys remind me of a UK version of something like The Presets. Not as specific as sounding like them, but in the way that they have that uncanny ability to take electro-rock music into the most unbelievably catchy domain it could ever possibly go into. Between Duffy’s amazing voice and form and the beat of tracks like Golden Sun and Stone Bridge, it only takes a few listens to start kicking yourself and wondering why you didn’t hear this stuff years ago.

Future Screens – TBA (January)

Never heard of Future Screens? Not many people have. It’s hard to understand the logistics behind a band of this calibre only obtaining a measly 1,000 likes on Facebook once you’ve heard their releases so far. Songs like Don’t Stop (which was heavily favoured on the sterling BIRP! July playlist) and Sidewalk Chalk were two of my favourite releases from 2012 and it was not even a difficult decision to sideline my hate for junk mail from random pointless websites and sign up for Future Screens band camp newsletters.

It was only the other day I received an email informing me of this future release and although nothing has yet appeared on the internet, iTunes or even Band Camp (I’m assuming due to the bands humble status and lack of music label), I can only assume based on every single thing they’ve done so far that when this new album is ejected unto the world it will be one of the best things to grace your ears in 2013.