MEMPHIS INDUSTRIES have sought far and wide in their quest for musical fancies to bring forth unto us; and on the very tip of New Zealand’s North Island, they’ve found the bright and excellent pop of The Phoenix Foundation.
Yeah, pop can be a dirty word, can’t it? But herein I mean not the millennial pop, a term so tarnished with its very asepsis; lowest common denominator, cleaned up to within a squeaky inch of its marketing meeting life; but proper pop! A little leftfield, bags of melody, plenty ideas, plenty intelligence, as you can hear below on “Beside Yourself”, a meeting of minds with fellow Kiwi dream pop artist Fazerdaze.
Collaboration and the bouncing of ideas was key to the The Phoenix Foundation’s last album the gloriously technicolour Friend Ship, with guest turns from countrymen and women Nadia Reid, Hollie Fullbrook of Tiny Ruins, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
The band is back bouncing melodies around against the heads of other musicians for their new single, made in cahoots with fellow Wellingtonian and dream-pop-star Fazerdaze.
Amelia Murray, aka Fazerdaze, says: “I really enjoyed working with Samuel [Flynn Scott] on this track.
“We recorded the vocals one morning at his place after we drank green juice and joked about how salubrious we were.
“It was special for me to see the inner workings of their creative process while they were still in the thick of their new material.
“[I’m] really chuffed to have this track out now, I’ve been a massive fan on The Phoenix Foundation for years.”
Having grown up very much in public, from debuting distortion through indie folk and out into their current guise as rainbow-bright hallucinatory popsters, they’re keeping it trippy and strrrrange.
“These themes of modern anxiety started to emerge in my songs,” said Samuel Flynn Scott around the release of last year’s album.
“The album is sort of a post-apocalyptic love letter from the future to the present. Looking back into the past for that sense of human connection we have lost in our screen-based existence.”
Stick with em; they have a map out of here.