September 27, 2022

Track of the Week breaks down and talks concerning the tune we simply can’t get out of our head every week. Discover these songs and extra on our Spotify High Songs playlist. For our favourite new songs from rising artists, take a look at our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Phoenix and Ezra Koenig unleash a pleasant collab.


Phoenix hearken again to the golden age of indie pop — an period they helped outline in 2009 with their groundbreaking fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix — on their new tune, “Tonight,” the second single from their upcoming album Alpha Zulu (out November 4th). “Tonight” not solely options fellow indie icon Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, however some signature Phoenix strikes; the rousing hi-hat and tom drum line from “Lasso” returns, the escalating synths of “1901” come again for an on the spot dopamine enhance, and the tune’s unshakeable confidence recollects the scrappy origins of their 2000 debut, United.

However past the nostalgia play, Phoenix sound like a special band than they have been in 2009 — their impulses are refined, their musical phrases extra unpredictable. Vocalist Thomas Mars and Ezra Koenig arrive on the ultimate line of the refrain, “Now I speak to myself and it’s fairly stunning,” in what appears like a bar too quickly, till a short instrumental pause provides approach to a euphoric rendition of the tune’s opening bass and guitar line. “Tonight” can also be an ideal instance of Phoenix by no means shedding sight of the truth that they’re A Guitar Band, and when the verses halt and permit Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai’s crystal-clear strumming to take the lead, it re-centers the observe on a extra natural, genuine sound, earlier than exploding in an anthemic style.

Mars and Koenig’s lyrics oscillate between reflecting on errors of the previous and earnestly pushing their regrets apart for the sake of getting firm — reasonably than solely leaning into the Obama-era concepts of “we solely have tonight, so let’s occasion,” there’s a transparent acknowledgment of how a lot has modified, how a lot they’ve grown up — how they’ve “performed all of the video games/ And misplaced virtually all the things.”

That is what makes “Tonight” so infectious and one in all Phoenix’s finest entries since 2013’s Bankrupt!. The world may be very completely different than it as soon as was when Mars and Koenig have been ascending to indie fame within the late 2000s — the longer term is extra bleak and unstable, and the very place of their bands within the panorama of standard music signify a extra optimistic period as a substitute of music that speaks reality to the collective. Phoenix is aware of they’ll’t replicate the frenzy of a tune like “1901,” so “Tonight” appears like their try and seize that lightning with out forgetting the best way they’ve modified over the past 15 years.

Again in 2013, Mars defiantly claimed on “Leisure” that he’d “reasonably be alone,” however now, he arrives with a request extra easy and earnest: “Might you come tonight?” With a tune as plain as “Tonight,” it’s an ideal concept to say sure.

— Paolo Ragusa
Editorial Coordinator


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