Phoenix Foundation Alumni

The Phoenix Foundation are one of the country's most acclaimed bands, although that hasn't necessarily translated into sales or awards. At the heart of their success is the fact that the band is made up of a bunch of incredibly talented songwriters and musicians. The guys from the Phoenix Foundation are bursting with songs, so much so that no fewer than four solo albums have emerged this year from band members.

The latest solo Phoenix alumni album is Vesuvius from Luke Buda, his third if you count the collection of demos, the C- Sides. Recorded over a much shorter period than it's predecessor Special Suprise, this is a more cohesive album. He worked with Craig Terris and Tom Watson of Cassette, and the country tendencies of that band (also present in early Phoenix Foundation material) seep through into Vesuvius but without overwhelming the strong vein of clever indie-pop that we're used to from Buda's contributions to the Phoenix Foundation. Video for 'Imminent Desire', the first single from the new album is on the video page. Also check out a live performance on National Radio (stream).

Many of the songs on Vesuvius would sit comfortably on a Phoenix Foundation album, and the same is true of the songs on Straight Answer Machine, the solo album released by Samuel Flynn Scott earlier in the year. There's a warm relaxed playfulness to this album that results in songs that manage to both suprise and seem familiar at the same time. It's well worth while checking out this and Flynn's earlier solo album The Hunt Brings Us Life - there's a video for 'Giving Up Is My New Morning Sun' on the video page. Worth a listen as well is great National Radio session (stream) with Lawrence Arabia and Craig Terris of Cassette.

Friendly Barnacle is the band headed by Phoenix Foundation bass player Warner Emery. Around the middle of the year Emery released The Tides, a pleasant, if not groundbeaking, album that will be welcomed by any Phoenix Foundation fan, or, for that matter, fans of mid 8os Flying Nun pop or those just digging the Wellington indie scene. (National Radio live performance - stream)

Conrad Wedde is the other Phoenix Foundationer to release an album this year as T.C. Wedde. Bronze is an album of mostly instrumental electronic music with a touch of guitar. Some of the pieces feel like interesting musical doodles, but others stand up as songs and point to the importance of Wedde's contribution to the overall soundscape of The Phoenix Foundation.

While we await a fourth album from the Phoenix Foundation there are plenty of musical goodies in their back catalogue and in this collection of solo recordings.

Download the Counting The Beat - Phoenix Foundation Alumni podcast


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