ALBUM REVIEW: The Phoenix Foundation – Friend Ship | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

 

Merge Records

Released: 16.10.20

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been five years since Phoenix Foundation’s last record, Give Up Your Dreams. The intervening years have been spent creating the acclaimed soundtrack for Taikia Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople, building shrines to light, creating scores for VR, producing other bands and, that most lockdown-friendly activity, baking sourdough.

Friend Ship, more so than previous releases, trades in the syrupy 70s MOR popularised by Father John Misty – string sections, brass and horns make it a richly textured record. Samuel Flynn Scott’s sardonic wit peppers the record, with some genuine laugh out loud moments on Guru and Miserable Meal. But there’s also incredible candid moments, such as on the jazzy album highlight Tranquility. It’s a record that contains some of the group’s best song writing and arrangement, there’s only the slight mis-step of Landline that doesn’t quite fit the record’s really nuanced aesthetic. Another great record from a criminally underrated band.

 

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