It’s such a rare and beautiful thing when you find a band that literally (yes, literally) makes it difficult to work. But that was the case with Phox this past Wednesday. Two tracks into Confetti, I found it hard to continue staring at an Outlook inbox; I was instead absolutely wrapped up in the gorgeous vocals and lush instrumentation, and much happier! Admittedly, the rest of my day was spent mesmerized by this fearless septet.
The Wisconsin-based band all graduated from Baraboo high school and began playing together in 2011. Having previously released a spattering of albums and EPs, Confetti is the outfit’s most recent release, from February of 2013. If you’re wondering what you’re in for, the band has described it quite well:
Confetti is less helium-fueled third grade birthday party, and more county highway roadkill buffet. It is a movie, as well, that was directed by our newest acolyte, Zach Johnston.
Actually, we’re not entirely sure what that means either, but we’re too enamored by Phox and their video EP to argue. And yes, you heard right; each of the six songs has a music video that accompanies it.
EDIT 3/2/14: The band has removed Confetti from their bandcamp, so please enjoy some of those tracks live from the iTunes Festival.
Monica Martin’s powerful vocals sell the album within the first ten seconds. Dripping with power and, at times, nostalgia, they’re both a uniting element of the EP and a strong feature of Phox’s overall sound. If you don’t fall in love after the vocals kick in during “Slow Motion”, wait for the climax following the crescendo mid-song. Phox displays amazing musicianship, both technically with varied instrumentation scattered throughout and conceptually with the flow of the album as a whole. The transition into “Blue and White” is expert.
One of the most notable qualities of Confetti, though, was the instant and intense emotional connection I had when I first listened. Yes, the music is interesting, and yes, the lyrics are relateable, but something about the entire package is just absolutely gripping. If Confetti were a book, I wouldn’t put it down.
Confetti is, in short, delightful. If you’ve made it this far without checking their music out, go. Now.
May 23 at Meyer Theatre in Green Bay, WI
June 7 at First Avenue & 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis, MN
June 9 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL