Tune of the Week breaks down and talks in regards to the tune we simply can’t get out of our head every week. Discover these songs and extra on our Spotify Prime 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 prompt dopamine increase, and the tune’s unshakeable confidence remembers the scrappy origins of their 2000 debut, United.
However past the nostalgia play, Phoenix sound like a distinct band than they had been in 2009 — their impulses are refined, their musical phrases extra unpredictable. Vocalist Thomas Mars and Ezra Koenig arrive on the remaining line of the refrain, “Now I speak to myself and it’s fairly shocking,” in what appears like a bar too quickly, till a quick instrumental pause provides technique to a euphoric rendition of the tune’s opening bass and guitar line. “Tonight” can be an important 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 trend.
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 — somewhat 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 every little thing.”
That is what makes “Tonight” so infectious and certainly one of Phoenix’s finest entries since 2013’s Bankrupt!. The world could be very totally different than it as soon as was when Mars and Koenig had been ascending to indie fame within the late 2000s — the long run is extra bleak and unstable, and the very place of their bands within the panorama of fashionable music symbolize a extra optimistic period as an alternative of music that speaks reality to the collective. Phoenix is aware of they’ll’t replicate the push of a tune like “1901,” so “Tonight” appears like their try to seize that lightning with out forgetting the best way they’ve modified during the last 15 years.
Again in 2013, Mars defiantly claimed on “Leisure” that he’d “somewhat 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 important thought to say sure.
— Paolo Ragusa