On their excellent new record, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix bend their distinctive sound into familiar but intoxicatingly new shapes. On WAP, following successful forays into soul and lazy glam, they slip back into their most natural groove with a sophisticated set of effortless Parisian dream-pop. Sort of a Lost In Translation vibe, if that makes sense (listen, you'll see).
In an illuminating Dazed interview, the French pop pioneers attribute their re-reinvention to a "spirit of a wide range of styles and opportunities." To best harness this spirit, they wrote the album in a variety of non-musical work spaces, among them a New York City hotel room (in the style of New Wave cinema visionary Francois Truffaut) and a boat (in the style of... Jacques Cousteau? Michael McDonald??).
Whether or not they're on your radar yet, Phoenix (who started out as Air's backing band) are already a sensation. They sell out in hours every time they come through the States. And, with the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the sensation has developed into a full-on frenzy.
They released lead WAP single, "1901," for free on the internet, where it was quickly snapped up by millions. Shortly after that, they implemented the second prong of their world invasion by playing Saturday Night Live. Huge. Now, with the release of their hypnotic and understated "1901" video, they've pretty much officially declared ownership of all music.
I see a lot of videos, obviously, and man, this one is a stunner. Quietly sexy, noir-ish and just outlandishly good.
Watch "1901" below, get the Phoenix fever and drop by the MTV Subterranean Blog to find out where you can hear the rest of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix for free.