#Summerofmusic III: Phoenix

Despite the fact that there are a ton of festivals going on this summer there’s a load of other reasons why the Summer of 2013 an exciting time in the music calendar.

The new albums from new bands, old bands with new albums et cetera that are coming out of the woodwork are truly exhilirating and are breathing fresh air into a once chart dependent music scene; the obvious one to look to is the return of Daft Punk with their mature perhaps even slightly dad-friendly album ‘Random Access Memories’. The strenght of this album is entirely centred around the simplicity of the song writing, the great hooks, the cherry-picked collaborators (please, please no more ‘Creators Project’ videos) and also the control with which they have penned their tracks – nothing is hugely over-blown or complicated.

Enough praise though – it’s a great album and it’s something you should look into (if you haven’t already) because Summer is fleeting and you should enjoy this bright & breezy album in the correct temperature.

Moving on from this there are several other huge albums that we think will be of interest to you because there simply hasn’t anything that’s been heard from these artists for a considerable amount of time.

These come-back releases are interesting as they tend to be a bit touch-and-go and also it’s not very often we’re faced with such a high volume of them in such a short period of time.

Here are the main considerations when anticipating a come-back album (NB pinch of salt):

1) Will the band or artist have the original spirit they had earlier in their musical career or has it curtailed with age?
2)Have they changed up their style to contend with modern trends?
3) What’s happened to the original line-up?
4) Were they on drugs previously? And if they’re not now – will this be a good or a bad thing?
5) Have they been through a divorce?
6) Are they on the same label?
7) How much marketing has gone into the release?
8) Exactly HOW long has it been since their previous record?
9) Is it tax related? (Although this is mainly a re-union tour rather than a new album)
10) How long has it been since they produced their magnus opus?
11) How old are they now? Can they still rock?
12) Is it a high profile producer?

So, as you can see there’s a lot to consider. Let’s go through some of the albums that are popping up (or have already popped up) this summer and what we can expect.


1) Phoenix – Bankrupt!

French pop-rock-indie super-group who – since their last album ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ – have gone mega international and therefore a lot of high expectations from them. Why interesting? Because they are going to headline festivals around the world and hold a certain underground credibility which they will have to keep in tact as well as satisfying a more main-stream audience who are now aware of them due to their last release.

Personally I think it’s actually a really satisfying listen and packed with all of the summery joie-de-vivre that you’d come to expect from a band like Phoenix. In a recent interview they spoke about the amount of time it took them to not simply write the tracks but to arrive in a place in which they felt they could write in a joyous manner – if you’ve ever heard ‘Too Young’ or ‘If I Ever Feel Better’ from their ‘United’ album you will understand what this meanas and considering they’re approaching 40 it’s probably no mean feat to communicate aloof, joyous enthusiasm for life through music as easily as it was 15 years ago.

Click here to listen to ‘Bankrupt’ or here for ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ or here for ‘United’

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Birmingham doom-metal-stoner-rock stalwarts Black Sabbath.


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