Leigh MichaelThursday,28 March 2013

The Snap:

Are you getting excited to listen to Phoenix’s new album? Bankrupt!, which comes out 22 April, is already getting plenty of hype from fans — and after listening to “Entertainment,” the album’s first single, I can see why. The song sounds like it could fit right into Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but this isn’t a bad thing. They’ve got a good thing going, and I’m excited to see what they have in store for us.

If you want a little new Phoenix material to tide you over until the release of Bankrupt!, then check out this musical morsel from Studio Q. The live version of “Entertainment” certainly has a more somber edge to it, but it’s fun to listen to nonetheless.

The Download:

A week ago, I read an interview with Phoenix on MTV. The band was explaining the thought process behind the album’s title, noting: “We looked for all the beautiful words, and we got bored; and then we looked for the frightening, powerful words, and then we got excited.” Bankrupt isn’t a word that brings shivers of excitement down the spine to most – but with the exclamation point tacked onto the end, it starts to take on a sort of peppy feel.

To me, this defines Phoenix. The band has this pop-inspired feel and an underlying upbeat tempo – but at the core, they’ve got some seriously sad lyrics in their tracklist. They feel like a band of contradictions. They should be mainstream pop, but there’s this certain element of something that hinges on alternative. Thomas Mars has that imperturbably buoyant voice, but he always manages to look just a little bit miserable (even at his own wedding). Phoenix confuses me. In a good way.

For another dose of Phoenix-related contrasts, check out the Blood Orange Remix and Dinosaur Jr.’s Remix of “Entertainment.” This song might already be well on the way to fitting into the “overplayed” category, but it still rocks.

Hat Tips:

Pitchfork, Phoenix, Soundcloud, Image Credit: Flickr

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