sorted magazine - issue 2

| features
| albums
| concerts
| what's on
| back issues
| about sorted
| contact us
| links |

Phish - Billy Breathes

Phish come from across the Atlantic and deal in delightfully Beatle-tinged piano pop. Elsewhere they sound like dEUS, telling fables of angst and isolation amid the warm and aquatic wash of the instruments. Equally theyre at home making use of hammond organ psychedelics and Beach Boy vocal harmonics.

The one thing that ties it all together is an unerring sense of melody. Phish are in complete control of their music, never letting the diversity get too sprawling or ramshackle to lose sight of the overall work. Character Zero begins as a soft and gentle paean to laziness before launching into an addictive singalong chorus, while Taste goes from being an eastern tinged pop track to being an extended jazz workout. The singer pontificates on the meaning of life in a throwaway New York coffee-house kind of way, but the end result is far from lightweight. This is overpowering and uplifting stuff which gets better with every listen.

by Niall Byrne