If Phoenix was a type of fruit, it would be a strawberry. You taste it don’t you? Picture this: the year is “1901”. You’re “Run Run Run”ning through a strawberry patch, and you are snagged by a “Lasso”. Now you’re in the hospital with a horrible case of “Lisztomania” and while you’re wondering, “If I Ever Get Better,” a beautiful young woman (not “Too Young”) enters your room. You fall in love and ride off into the “Love Like A Sunset Pt. I.” If that doesn’t sound like a strawberry I don’t know what does.
As if it’s not already cool enough to be from Versailles, France, Thomas Mars, Deck d’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, and Laurent Brancowitz have made quite the name for themselves. Formed in the early 90’s as a garage band, the quartet had three studio albums before their breakout album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, in 2009. “Too Young“, off of their first album, United, was featured in Lost in Translation, directed by Sophia Coppola, lead singer Thomas Mars’ now wife.
The band has a rich history in the suburbs of Paris. The thirty-somethings wrote almost all of their songs in Mars’ parents house, literally across the street from the palace grounds of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. So dreamy. So chic.
Phoenix is on my Bands-I-Would-Sell-My-Soul-To-See list. They are renowned for their energetic shows and their performances make for great “Entertainment“ (see what I did there?). Who can’t like the romantic vocals and pulsing, synthetic sound? Phoenix has been busy playing Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel, Coachella, and Osheaga this year and I will finally be able to check them off my list when they play Lollapalooza this August.
If you’re not swooning to the wavy, synthetic streams of “Girlfriend,” then you’re bopping your head uncontrollably to “Lisztomania.” The group prides themselves on perfection. In Follow Phoenix, an 18 minute Spotify documentary highlighting a day in the life of Phoenix, Broncowitz was asked who the band listens to when seeking inspiration. “Bronco” he replied, “we like everything. Actually, we don’t like anything, but in every genre there’s a few guys who get it right.” Mars chimes in that editing is crucial. They record everything, so they can go back and squeeze out every last drop of musical genius created.
Phoenix’s long-awaited, fifth studio album, Bankrupt!, will be released this Tuesday in the United States; and the world is ready for it.