Creating music that reflects the impermanence of the physical human experience, weighed against the incomprehensible infinity of the universe; it’s this mission statement of Brighton’s Phoria that sets this four-piece apart from those who just set out to write a few decent tunes. After the success of their debut, art-rock LP Volition, four years later Phoria have decided to unleash upon us a new album of soaring neoclassical compositions. We spoke to the band about the journey to this new record, Caught A Black Rabbit.
Despite being only their second full-length album, Phoria were given the opportunity to record at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, with a 12-piece orchestral ensemble to play with. The band’s (unofficial, it appears) leader, Trewin Howard, tells me it wasn’t an opportunity to be passed on lightly.
“I think this latest record was a product of finally giving in to a manager who'd spent the last few years just ranting about how good some of the instrumental and classical compositions were,” he says.
“And when you've got a 12 piece ensemble to play with, and an established recording studio like Abbey Road — plus you've got your computer and all your epic reverbs to play with – I can’t see why you shouldn't shoot for the most transcendent thing you can achieve.”
There are certainly parallels between albums one and two, but I ask Howard about the different approaches.
“Volition was our attempt at the best fusion of pop, and massive, transcendent, euphoric music. And there was this slightly more formal concept of what a band and an artist was in our heads back then because we were relatively new. And we've wanted to tick all the boxes of something that could be accessible and popular, whilst not sacrificing the big scale of things.
"This album is very different. It's far more neoclassical and less vocally driven. But it’s essentially just an exploration of something else. We're always working on all the different disciplines.”