Album review: The Phoenix Foundation, Fandango

By Lydia Jenkin

3 comments
Album cover for Fandango. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Fandango. Photo / Supplied

Phoenix Foundation frontman Samuel Flynn Scott describes their fifth album as "test match music", an appropriate comparison for a double album of 78 minutes which refuses to let their expansive, languid, psych-pop ideas be condensed or hurried. The Wellington six-piece understand what makes a classic, nostalgic Kiwi experience though.

Slightly submerged, starlit opening track Black Mould contains the brilliant lyrics: "Villas in the mist, in the valley of the saggy, where the sun will never kiss, and it's a nice little place, and it's cosy I suppose, if you don't mind living in a never-ending war with black mould".

Modern Rock too employs some under-watery, calming, ostinato, with folky vocal harmonies subverting the black humour of the lyrics.

There's hints of Wilco (Thames Soup), and Pink Floyd (Inside Me Dead), but it all sounds distinctively Phoenix Foundation-esque, with its achingly melodic focus, and jaunty, synth riffs (like on The Captain or Sideways Glance).

Sure, having a final track that lasts more than 17 minutes might seem indulgent, but you should give yourself the time to listen to the whole collection and go on the lovely sonic voyage they've laid out for you. It's the perfect music to get lost in.

Stars: 5/5
Verdict: A very rewarding test match experience

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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