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2014 | Kyle’s Record Recommends Day 1

It’s the end of the year and it’s time to wrap up everything we loved, and this year I’d like to make this a buyers recommendation for records this year. At this point in my life, these are all records I think you should drop $20 on and spin the vinyl like there is no tomorrow. I didn’t think it was proper to put these in any type of order although most people who I discuss music with will probably know what my number one is. Without further ado, here are my recommendations for records to buy that released in…


Review | PHOX – Self-titled


[W]isconson’s symphonic sextet PHOX released their highly-anticipated, self-titled, debut today (6/24) via Partisan Records, and quite frankly it is everything you need in a summer album. 12 tracks of blissful, lay back in a hammock on an island beach with a tasty beverage and let your worries melt away music, perfectly created for forgetting you don’t actually have any vacation time available at your job.

It is very hard to listen to this record and not get swept away in the breezy, soulful voice of lead-singer Monica Martin and the orchestral prowess of her multi-talented bandmates Matt Holmen (banjo/guitar/horns), Zach Johnston (banjo/guitars), Dave Roberts (drums), Matteo Roberts (keys), and Jason Krunnfusz (bass). Categorizing this band as only playing these certain instruments does not do them justice as a whole. Each member is a wiz at picking up something new and giving it a go. Clarinet? check! Strings? check! Triangle? check! Flugelhorn? checkmate!

The opening track, “Calico Man,” is a hushed, gentle arrangement of voice and bass that perfectly sets the dreamy mood of the album. The first single, “Slow Motion,” was released back in April and set the hearts of music bloggers across the world aflutter…yours truly included. The horns that kick in on the delightful song “Evil,” along with the quick tempo changes and hand-claps, make you want to press replay over and over. The band knows their way around a harmony as well! The standout track, “Shrinking Violets,” excels at blending voices with every instrument imaginable and flows perfectly into the hypnotically spiraling “Satyr and the Faun.” The closing song, “In Due Time,” wraps the album up as gently as it begins, with the spotlight on Martin’s impeccable voice, which transcends time and space.

I have listened to this debut pretty much every day since it arrived in Music Savage’s inbox and I can honestly say this is a top contender for album of the year for 2014. PHOX has what it takes to become the new must see band and fortunately for you fine folks the tour to support the release kicks off today. I have had the pleasure of seeing them live as openers earlier this year and was smitten from the opening chord to the last waining note. You will not want to miss them if they happen to be in your town.


New Music | PHOX – 1936


[T]he highly anticipated self-titled debut LP from Wisconsin’s PHOX will be released in just a few short weeks and we have a new single to help you dreamily while away the summertime hours. In “1936” the Baraboo band spin an illustrative tale inspired by Edith Ringling (of the circus Ringlings) who were all rather well known Baraboo residents. The song twists and swirls around your head, with gentle guitars and hushed bass, all carried adrift by Monica Martin’s tranquil voice. You may very well fall into a dreamlike state for a bit… just go with it.

The album is out June 24th, via Partisan Records, and you can preorder over at the band’s website. The tour kicks off on the record’s release date and you should make it your goal to see them live this summer if they happen to be in your town.


New Music | Phox – Slow Motion

[B]araboo born band PHOX have been steadily making their presence known outside their home state of Wisconsin, and with a headlining tour to start on June 24th, the 6-piece band will most certainly find many new fans. The 24th of June is also the date their debut, self-titled, album is released and we are pleased to share with you the first single titled “Slow Motion.” The track is a stellar introduction to lead-singer Monica Martin’s amazing voice, which floats between classical jazz and modern rock without missing a beat. The banjo mixed with that head bopping drum beat keeps you entertained,…


Video | PHOX – Slow Motion

[youtube][/youtube] [I]t may have taken the six friends that make up Wisconsin’s PHOX a few years of living in the same house to realize that they were truly meant to play music together, but it’s only taken a few months for the Madison-based band to gain a whole lot of attention.  They released the phirst PHOX EP, Unblushing, in June 2013, along with a terrific series of self-produced videos taken during the recording, and just had a hugely successful round of shows at this year’s SXSW music festival, which put the fledgling band next in line for breakout group of 2014. Speaking of which,…

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