I’ve been eagerly waiting to squeeze this in before the start of the weekend. Not because it’s particularly danceable or cheerful (well, to some extend it actually is – but it won’t make you dance your socks off), it just that this could well be one of the most schizophrenic yet irresistible pieces of music I heard for quite some time. While at work, PHOX’s gathering of creative chaos has been repetitively running in the background, and for every spin I gained more and more certain that it could very well be our best feature of the week.
The six-piece band formed about two years ago at a local college in the little town of Baraboo, Wisconsin. PHOX describe their hometown as a place where kids often drink poison and become endowed mutants. So as a result the members of PHOX are blessed with madness, illusions of grandeur and the inability to do the same things twice. Well, this certainly explains their chaotic appearance and their charming impulsive creation. While not being sure, I suspect the creative madman behind the band is guitarist Matt Holmen, who brought them all together by booking a show before the band was even fully formed, stating that a show would be enough motivation to get everyone together. This little trick apparently worked and the bands been busy playing over 100 shows and churning out new material ever since.
Their latest project is a Video EP called Confetti that was filmed in the bands shared communal home, where each track is paired to a video. The word ‘confetti’ is actually a perfectly fitting way to describe their music. It has all the colors of the rainbow and comes in all forms and shapes, while it’s all put together in new and imaginative ways. Besides the use of more “common” instruments, they throw in everything from clarinets, banjos, trumpets, violins to inspired new things to use as percussions (hand clapping alternated with plastic cups being banged against a table, as you’ll find out by viewing “Slow Motion”). This makes their music an unpredictable trippy experience.
But not everything is as charmingly erratic as “Slow Motion”; “Blue and White” is actually a breathtaking slow-paste ballad where Monica Martin’s voice takes central stage and feels somber and heartfelt. It’s a huge contrast, scaled back in its glorious presence and a song that’s easy to fall in love with. It’s subsequently also the EP stand-out and one the most beautiful ballads you’ll likely to hear at the moment. The forth track “Noble Heart” blends their two diverse aesthetics into one beautiful piece of delicious pop song, reminiscent of some good old 60’s doo-wop.
Confetti showcases a highly diverse band with clearly more than one trick up their sleeve. They like to experiment and move things forward, while being true to some traditional harmonious pop sentiment. This is a six track ride of heartwarming pop that’s easy to recommend to any true music voyager.
To view the full Video EP, head over to PHOX website.