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May 29
The Barbarity of World-Cities ONLINE EVENT Columbia University, Maison Française

Electro band Phoenix will perform in Berkeley

The sixth album by Phoenix sounds like the perfect soundtrack to come from a nation that, despite everything going on elsewhere in the world, still seems to possess hope and joy in great abundance.

The world seemed to breathe a sigh of relief after the French Presidential election in May. However, when the four school friends from Versailles (Christian Mazzalai, Laurent Brancowitz, Thomas Mars & Deck d’Arcy), now in their early forties, began writing and recording the songs that would make up Ti Amo (10 of them, as always) it didn’t look like they were in step with the national mood at all.

They started work in 2014, shortly after, Charlie Hebdo happened. Then the Bataclan happened when they were in the studio, just a 20-minute walk from the terrorist attack on the concert hall.

“There was this feeling the world as we knew it was collapsing before our eyes,” explains guitarist Laurent Brancowitz. But strangely, the gloom was not being reflected in the songs the band were writing. “To our great amazement, amid the geopolitical tension and general darkness, the music we were creating was sounding so joyful, romantic and carefree.”

They came together in a new, unfamiliar studio space, as they do for each new record. “Having our own studio would be a danger for us – the end,” bassist Deck d’Arcy speculates. This time they occupied the top floor of La Gaîté Lyrique in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, a former theatre that was refurbished as a centre for arts and digital creatives in the late 2000s.

Mazzalai, Brancowitz and d’Arcy began composing together, with Mars joining them from his home in Manhattan for 10 days out of every month. There they kept a strict 9-to-5 discipline for months, unlike past sessions of night work. They recorded the whole process – hundreds of hours of music. The favoured songs that eventually emerged featured sparkling synths dominating over gui- tars. The guitars that were present were often altered electronically.

Phoenix will perform at the Greek Theatre on September 8, 2018
Doors 7pm | Show 8pm
Special guests: Cut Sopy, Sir Sly
Buy tickets here.