Phoenix Rising

After reading Lauren’s list of things to get psyched for in 2013, I have to say I was pretty sufficiently pumped for the year ahead. Not that it takes a lot to get me going–I’m a very excitable person. According the Enneagram test my roommate made me do, my enthusiasm for life is the defining characteristic of my personality (I’m a 7).

It’s a great list. I would have switched The Great Gatsby with Catching Fire, but otherwise we are pretty much in consensus about the biggest landmarks on the pop culture horizon.

Except for one glaring omission.

Phoenix is coming back, y’all!

After a painfully long and quiet 4-year hiatus, my most favorite French rock band will finally release a follow-up to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which is one of my top 5 desert island albums. It’s rumored to be called TPC, per a 2011 post on the band’s blog, and it’s set to release in April. Daniel Glass, the head of Phoenix’s label Glassnote Records, announced at a Spotify event in December that the new album is finished, he has heard it, and it “could be revolutionary.”

Revolutionary is an interesting word to associate with a band known for their precision–they write tight, structured songs, and each album has just 10 or 11 songs–but it is that precision that gives their inventive vision and creative verve meaningful shape. Describing the songwriting process for “Love Like a Sunset,” an eight-minute, two-part song off Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, lead singer Thomas Mars said: “I remember we were driving from Versailles to Paris in this tunnel, and we were listening to Steve Reich. The road really felt like it had a strong rhythm to it, the lights in the tunnel too, and it became this whole experience we wanted to recreate on record. The idea was to do a 25-minute song that happened to be only seven minutes in reality. [Laughs.] I also love songs where you forget that hearing a voice is even a possibility, and then suddenly one comes in.” It’s a challenge to what music can be, it asks us to think about how we hear and enjoy music, but above and before all that, it’s just a great song.

A new album also means a new tour! I saw them twice while touring their last album, and both shows were incredible. Their Park West show in June 2009 is my favorite I have ever seen. Here they are performing “Lisztomania” at Coachella in 2010: 

And a video of them performing “Love Like a Sunset” at Madison Square Garden, also in 2010:

So here’s to my most anticipated release of 2013! Any you’re really looking forward to?


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