It’s rare that an album can get you up on your feet and also let you drift away into a trippy soundscape.
But The Phoenix Foundation’s latest offering, Give Up Your Dreams, which debuted at number two in the New Zealand charts, does just that.
The album’s deluxe pack comes with a cotton pillow case and super soft sleep mask for that total immersion experience.
And yet the insistent percussion of the technicolour pop tracks is infectious.
Band founder Luke Buda says: “I would say that my favourite place to listen to music is in bed with headphones on, before bed.
“But that’s also a play on the whole dreams thing – our manager works pretty bloody hard at coming up with extra curiosities to incentivise people to buy the bloody thing.
“It’s no longer enough to make a cool album; you have to have some interesting merch [merchandise].”
The Wellington-based progressive indie rockers, who have five studio albums and two movie soundtracks under their belts as one of the country’s premier bands, bring their eight-date album release tour to The Sherwood on Saturday.
Genial Buda says it’s going well so far.
“Three gigs down and the audiences seem to have dug it.
“It’s pretty exciting for the band though to play all the stuff – hopefully that translates to the audience.
“It’s hard work though. We’ve put a lot of pre-production into it, but even so the first night felt like a real challenge.”
Buda says they’ll play the whole album, although not in order, and some of their classics.
The new album was recorded at the band’s HQ, The Car Club in Wellington, with the bulk of the mixing by long-time collaborator Lee Prebble at Surgery Studios.
“It’s actually quite relaxing and comfy in our studio because you don’t have the clock winding down.
“We did five to six weeks of band tracking – all set up in the same room just doing takes.
“Then Conrad, Sam and I, the main producer guys, just started chipping away.
“So you’ll spend the whole day just muting and unmuting, checking out what this effect sounds like on that bit, or you get a synth out and play it all day long along with a track but end up with nothing you actually use – but it’s all pretty important to explore.”
Mixing with Prebble takes about three weeks.
Give Up Your Dreams is the most band-influenced album to date, with a theme of happiness above aspiration.
“Only one song was a song before it came to the band – everything else came in as musical ideas.
“It was deliberate. We wanted to make a band album so when I brought stuff to the band I deliberately kept it very unfinished so we could take it somewhere.”
The album’s already critically acclaimed but hardworking Buda and the 18-year-old band won’t be resting on their laurels.
Australian and European tours follow over the next few months, before work on a movie soundtrack and side-project bands.
The Phoenix Foundation GUYD tour hits The Sherwood tomorrow at 8pm. Tickets $30 plus booking fee