ALBUM REVIEW: Phew – New Decade | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released: 22.10.21







It is a shock to hear Phew’s six new songs, released exactly forty years after her self-titled debut for Mute. Her visions lie intact. Phew seems to be forever whispering oracles and secret warnings, alternating between English and Japanese. She is a sort of modern Cassandra: someone who sees, hears and says too much. Every now and then, when language bores or fails her, her singing becomes a pure primal scream.

New Decade is a terrifying album – for nothing is repressed. The industrial, computer-programmed beats and electronics act as a counterpoint to her excessive humanity. We hear her erratic breath, her pulse – and it sounds as eerily miraculous as the thousands of heartbeats once recorded by Christian Boltanski, and permanently beating on the Japanese island of Teshima.


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