Critically-acclaimed Brighton electronica outfit Phoria are set to release their full-length debut album Volition on 3rd June, 2016, in physical/digital/streaming formats worldwide on X Novo Records, with the Asia release led by Singapore-based label Umami Records.
Over the past few years, Phoria have become known for their colourful, visually evocative soundscapes with the release of two EP’s: 2013’s ‘Bloodworks’ and 2014’s ‘Display’. Top 5’s on Hype Machine, support from BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music followed – along with millions of Spotify streams. ‘Volition’ comes at a stage in the band’s surging career that is as fresh as it is highly-anticipated.
‘Volition’ is replete with transcendent ambition – intensely wrought depths are delicately woven into complex layers. It’s a work of sound that feels like a painting – a golden shape, a texture, a mixture of sunlight and sculpture. Music as spectral as this makes you lose yourself in the right way; deep in sound and light. Imagine the music of Sigur Ros, or James Blake, or Aphex Twin, but travelling somewhere else instead. As you do, pay attention as your eyes and ears adjust: open up, come alive.
Phoria are headed by the master of electronics and composition Trewin Howard, a deeply sensitive character in tune with his surroundings, empowered with synaesthesia and once afflicted with a mysterious – still undiagnosed – illness that left his senses frayed and mind on edge. Ironically, when this illness ebbed, it left behind an even more heightened auditory perception. He is joined by two friends he has known all his life (guitarist Jeb Hardwick, piano/synth player Ed Sanderson) and two others (drummer Seryn Burden and bass/synth player Tim Douglas), who he feels he has known forever. Phoria start to make sense with this strong backbone and incredible bond in place. At one point, they stopped trying to be a conventional band and started to be something else; they decided to be applied technicians in a self-created sonic laboratory named Phoria.
Phoria‘s songs aren’t what you’d call conventional. Trewin never wanted to be a storyteller – he says he subscribes to the model of saying very little to say a lot. ‘Red’ is inspired by a conversation Trewin had with someone about lying to people, while ‘Evolve’ is a mash-up of ideas about evolution and the future of society. The other songs on ‘Volition’ take in various themes in the form of: love, art, science, the way people touch and change and move each other, sex, mortality, scale, insignificance, morality, pain, joy, fear, obscurity, the surreal, the absurd, and beauty. The lyrics usually come out in one recording, altogether, and they feel whole, multi-dimensional, and real.
The new album ‘Volition’ don’t just feel like a cohesive loci of sounds; neither can they be merely categorised as a refined collection of songwriting. It breathes and pops with a beautiful, shuddering burst of new life, from the washed out landscapes of opener ‘Melatonin’ to the minimalist rattle and hum on ‘Evolve’ to the final burst of colour on the album’s closer ‘Yourself Still’. ‘Volition’ makes sure you know that it has a story to tell – and boy, is it a good one.
- Everything Beta
- By The Salt
- Saving Us A Riot
- Yourself Still