Phoenix goes Bankrupt! Sneak preview of the band's upcoming album
French alternative rock band Phoenix has recently announced the April 23rd, 2013 release of their 5th studio album, Bankrupt!, and they’ve updated their website to include pictures of the upcoming album’s artwork and track list. In the past, Phoenix has boasted almost Auto-Tune like vocals and electric instrumentals on the keyboard and guitar, in the mold of other alternative bands, including Passion Pit. In an interview, the band claimed that Bankrupt! seeks to put forth more “experimental” music and depart from the pop sounds of 09’s Grammy-winning Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which included popular songs like 1901 and Girlfriend. Daniel Glass, founder of the band’s label, stated “It’s hard to beat Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but this could be revolutionary.” It’s rumored that much of their recent inspiration stems from working with Sophia Coppola on her 2010 film, Somewhere. This film very much embodies the façade of Hollywood glamour – Chateau Marmont, celebrity ennui, and all. Phoenix’s tracks on the film’s soundtrack (Love Like a Sunset I & II) thus mirror the sounds of Los Angeles so that the cinematic images match the music. The songs move gradually, and are mainly instrumental with hypnotic beats that reflect the slow traffic and sedated mindset that are LA. These same themes of California wealth, fame, and pretense are eluded to in several of Bankrupt!’s track titles as well, for example, SOS in Bel Air and Borgeois.
Earlier this week, the band released their first track off the album, Entertainment. It’s certainly more rock than their bubbly pop and electronica songs of the past, but it’s unmistakably still Phoenix. You can listen and judge the track for yourself, below. It’s inevitable that musicians will change and progress - and I suppose we’ll have to wait for the rest of Bankrupt! to see if they’ve done so for the better.