The Phoenix Foundation – Give Up Your Dreams
Where Buffalo – arguably The Phoenix Foundation’s most successful album to date – exhibited a whimsical, acoustic folk feel, their latest record imparts exactly the kind of reality check its title suggests. Give Up Your Dreams could be dubbed The Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, and rather magically, this ‘fuck it all and let go’ approach has yielded brilliant results.
Prog rock is too narrow a category to contain the reaches to which The Phoenix Foundation have stretched themselves on this album; their previous Fleet Foxes-esque melodies are still there, but there’s a miasma of other elements at play: the fantastic crashing minor chords of Mountain’s chorus; spacey vocals; muted tribal drums. It’s a brave sonic collage that makes for fascinating listening.
The New Zealand sextet’s status has until now remained at cult following, but by giving up their dreams and surrendering to their impulses, big time success for The Phoenix Foundation now seems well within their grasp. [Claire Francis]