I'm still pretty bummed out about PHOX calling it quits. That disappointment is cooled a bit by a colorful collaborative record titled Awake and Pretty Much Sober; produced and arranged by Jeremy Larson, AKA Violents, and featuring Monica Martin, PHOX's fabulous frontwoman, on vocals.
PHOX's self-titled Partisan Records debut was a dazzling, organic folk-pop album full of sweetness and warmth and curiosity. In this collaboration with Violents, Monica Martin's voice proves wonderfully flexible. Her fluttering, smokey voice so perfectly blends between the shimmery orchestral and electronic layers of tracks like "Unraveling," "How It Left," and of course, "Equal Powers." From front to back, it's very clear that Larson wrote this album with Martin's voice in mind.
Awake and Pretty Much Sober is an ethereal experience. If there was such a thing as a pleasant hangover, I'm guessing it would feel like how "Equal Powers" sounds in particular. Below is a live performance of the track featuring a string quartet. I had the opportunity to go to the band's album release show in Brooklyn a few months ago and it was a true delight.