Have you got a favourite band from Baraboo, Wisconsin? Didn’t think so, but guess what – you do now.
PHOX are a stunning five-piece that hail from the Americana countryside who meld together a plethora of sound to appease the most picky of sonic palettes and at long last, their debut LP – the self-titled PHOX – is upon us.
Sticking to their roots, PHOX was recorded in a local Wisconsin studio that is owned by none other than Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. There must be some magic still left within that country air, as the quintet’s debut release oozes with beauty, the group producing a heart-stopping blend of lush soulful ballads, foot stompin’ folk twangs, and rockin’ pop tunes delivering what our Tone Deaf writer called “one of the year’s most strikingly confident debut albums.“
There must be a special mention for enchanting lead vocalist Monica Martin, whose delivery can easily be traced from the deeper tones of Nina Simone all the way to the sugar-sweet husks of Feist.
This talented bunch released their brand-spanking, self-titled debut in the US this June, and thank god, the Aussie release is with us later this month. In celebration of this incredible upcoming release, you can stream the entire record right here as the band themselves detail the roots of each track.
“It’s about long-distance dating in a way, and all the terrors that are apart of that.”
“‘Leisure’ is about having sex and eating and not wanting to get out of bed and then having your friends getting upset with you ’cause you don’t want to meet them or go to their party or anything else, really that’s about it.”
“It’s just sort of a commentary on my sloth-like behaviour and me having to have this conversation with people over and over and over again, it’s pretty comical at this point actually.”
“A conversation I’m having with my sister about how confusing our family is and really just dealing with it together.”
“‘Evil’ is a song, pretty blatantly, about this gentleman I really liked… (gentleman!, that’s a joke) that I really liked that ended up kind of breaking it off with me and deciding to very shortly after get naked with a very dear friend of mine, that I’ve known since middle school. So that’s funny I get to sing it all the time now.”
“‘Laura’ we’ve re-imagined many, many times. It’s finally getting to the place where it’s supposed to be and this song is about a time where I didn’t really understand what was going on with my mother and now we’re pretty cool.”
“about a time in my life that where I was ruminating on a nice gentleman…”
[another band member interjects] “…ruminating? Do you mean contemplating the structure and palette of this song for two years before we knew how to play it right?”
“No, but that was helpful.”
“So often times you’ll start a relationship, oh wait, often times if you’re insane you’ll start a relationship and you want to believe it’s the final destination and your friends will say ‘you know, I think you’re going into this a bit little too quickly’ and then you shake your fist at them and say ‘absolutely not, this is the one I’m gonna be with forever.’
Long story short, your friends are probably right but I wrote this song during a time I believed otherwise.”
‘Satyr and The Faun’
“This song is about the person you’ve wanted to date for a really long time and how they don’t want to date you, and then you’re off dating someone else, the old person seems a lot more interested because things seem more appealing when they’re not accessible to you.”
“This song is definitely one of the touchstones for PHOX that we feel encapsulates pretty much everything we do. It has high points and low points that show a lot about us and a lot about our style.”
“This is one of the last songs we wrote for the album and it came together in a series of very, very late night recordings, very dark and candlelit.”
‘In Due Time’
“This is song is something we’ve been trying to do for a couple of years and this is the first time that we actually succeed because I didn’t get in the way and try to make it something that it wasn’t.
I love getting step off stage when they play this song, I go out into the crowd and watch them sing together, sometimes off the mic sometimes on mic, I don’t know, it’s a proud moment for to get to watch them and not take any part in the song.”