Listening party !

by Yome NetSan 2. April 2020

I don't know what you did last night, but I did wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning to listen to the Phish's new studio album : Sigma Oasis.

The listening party was a surprise announced the night before during a funny chat in the middle of a free rebroadcast of the July 27, 2014 show from Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. It was part of the Diner and a Movie series taking place every Tuesday while we are locked down in this weird time.

 

Taking place on April 1st, one could think that it would be a troll but it was the real deal : an awesome new studio record by our favorite band. It was so strange to experience it "live" with more than 34'000 fans in front of a Youtube video...

About the music itself, I think it's one of their best record yet.  All the songs were known but the arrangements were spectacular with extra strings and backing vocals. Two songs (Everything's Right and Thread) stand out for clocking at more than 10 minutes and for including great JAMS. Yes, real studio jams.

This album manage to capture the live vibe of a concert while adding extra salt only found on studio records.

Great job Phish !

The album is already available digitaly everywere (livephish.com, Dry Goods and streaming services). Nothing have been announced for a physical release yet but I'm ready for the vinyl LP !

1. Sigma Oasis (5:50)
2. Leaves (7:03)
3. Everything's Right (12:22)
4. Mercury (7:31)
5. Shade (4:25)
6. Evening Song (3:21)
7. Steam (7:53)
8. A Life Beyond The Dream (6:31)
9. Thread (11:19)

Sigma Oasis came to be during the first week of November 2019, but it wasn’t planned that way at all. We were headed up to The Barn to rehearse for our fall tour and ended up discussing this batch of relatively recent songs that we were particularly proud of and always wished we had recorded, but hadn’t had a chance to yet. Trey suggested calling up Vance Powell as he mixed and engineered Ghosts Of The Forest. Vance was very familiar with the space and the console so we set up the gear with no room dividers, no click tracks. Nothing. Just like a Phish show. Open space. We played for a couple days. We just played a bunch of songs — very quickly, a few takes, very organic, natural, live, honest. We had the best time.

When we were done, our photographer Rene came up and asked us to come out on the porch and snap a photo. It took about two minutes. And that’s the album cover — a snapshot of our band at that point in time.

Vance had some stuff on his schedule so he asked as a favor if we would mind if he didn’t mix until early March. Now four months might sound like a long time, but it gave all of us time to work on the tracks — Page overdubbed a lot of keyboards at home. Trey went to a studio in New York and did vocals and percussion. We had time to pick which songs we wanted to work on. We let a few of them go, which was difficult, but that’s ok.

When we recorded the album, we didn’t plan to release it this way. But today, because of the environment we’re all in, it just feels right. We don’t know the next time that we’re all going to be able to be together. This is an opportunity to have a moment where the Phish community can share something despite being physically separated.

The last line of the chorus of “Sigma Oasis” sums up this point — There’s no place to get. There’s nothing to achieve. There’s no place to be. We’re here. Right here, right now is as good as it gets. “You’re already there.” It’s a content state of mind. You’re just completely in the moment. “You’re already there.” You already have everything you need. Sigma Oasis. It aligns with where we are in our career and as friends and musicians. There’s a joy to the playing. We’re not clamoring to make it. Make what? We’re already there! Sigma Oasis.

-Phish

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