The Phoenix Foundation

Friday, 05 January 2007

It’s hard to endure the dead of winter—regardless of your location—and not feel the need for some music that let’s you just chill out and relax. The outdoors is overrated anyway. During one of those moments when the inside is where it's at, The Phoenix Foundation’s Horsepower will make the inside feel like a sunny day. It’s not that the music is gleeful by any means, it just has this feeling of content and comfort that you need when you’re told by an ominous radio broadcast to stay indoors. The ironic part is The Phoenix Foundation is from New Zealand, and after a quick check on, Wellington looks like it has highs in the 70s (sorry Denver).

Lead vocalist/guitarist Samuel Flynn Scott has a certain trustworthy charm to him that is most prominent on songs like “The Swarm” and “Sally,” where Scott makes you feel like he’s on a walk in the wilderness, with one hand on your shoulder telling you “It’ll be okay, man.” Beyond the guitar-driven Americana and/or alt-country vibe, they dabble in spacey, Radiohead mellowness, illustrated on “St. Kevin.” The band, however, opens up the window and let’s some sunshine in on the downstroke-heavy, organ-loving “Going Fishing.” It’s a laid-back jam that has the soul of The Band with the seductiveness of The Court & Spark.

Apparently Horsepower has already been released in the summer of 2006 on their own label, Caravan Records, but upon mass global appeal, they allowed Young American Recordings to take a stab at releasing the album in the states. It’s a good idea, and a good investment, as Horsepower is a compassionate, becalmed album that will be a nice companion on those days when the fireplace is looking sexier than the beach.

Horsepower is out March 12, 2007 on Young American Recordings

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