Over the past few years, Phoria have become known for their colourful, visually evocative soundscapes with the release of two EP’s: 2013’s ‘Bloodworks’ and 2014’s ‘Display’. Top 5’s on Hype Machine, support from BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music followed – along with millions of Spotify streams. Imagine the music of Sigur Ros, or James Blake, or Aphex Twin, but travelling somewhere else instead.
Phoria are headed up by the master of electronics and composition Trewin Howard, a deeply sensitive character in tune with his surroundings, empowered with synaesthesia and once afflicted with a mysterious - still undiagnosed - illness that left his senses frayed and mind on edge. Ironically, when this illness ebbed, it left behind an even more heightened auditory perception. He is joined by piano/synth player Ed Sanderson who he has known all his life and three others (guitarist/synth player James Cheeseman, drummer Seryn Burden, guitar/bass/synth player Tim Douglas), who he feels he has known forever. Phoria start to make sense with this strong backbone and incredible bond in place. At one point, they stopped trying to be a conventional band and started to be something else; they decided to be applied technicians in a self-created sonic laboratory named Phoria.
Debut album ‘Volition’ is bursting with vibrant sounds throughout, from opener ‘Melatonin’s electronic washes to ‘Emanate’s organic clicks and claps, to the epic string section finale on ‘Yourself Still’, which brings a colourful parade to end the record.
Phoria's songs aren't what you'd call conventional. Trewin never wanted to be a storyteller - he says he subscribes to the model of saying very little to say a lot. ‘Red’ is inspired by a conversation Trewin had with someone about lying to people, while ‘Evolve’ is a mash-up of ideas about evolution and the future of society. The other songs on ‘Volition’ take in various themes in the form of: love, art, science, the way people touch and change and move each other, sex, mortality, scale, insignificance, morality, pain, joy, fear, obscurity, the surreal, the absurd, and beauty. The lyrics usually come out in one recording, altogether, and they feel whole, multi-dimensional, and real.
The multifaceted sounds of Phoria are illustrated by the recent single ‘Mass (Re-Imagined)’, which showcases the band’s classical roots, followed by the recent hypnotic double A-side, ‘When Everything Was Mine’/’RROTOR’. Phoria are currently recording their second album which is set for release in 2019 and will embark on a UK tour this November.
'Merging James Blake’s spartan beats, Enya’s enigmatic warmth and the symphonic stateliness of Sigur Ros, Phoria’s music moves at glacial pace. These giant songs, rendered intimate by Trewin Howard’s despairing vocals and sky-high imagination'
'Brighton five-piece Phoria have been forging their own space in the world. Electronically-led pop is their game, but it’s the kind that ducks and dives, twisting new shapes like a great big ball of flubber'
'Breathlessly pretty electronic music in which every note sounds conspicuously human'
'Howard's vocal has the breathy qualities of Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Elena Tonra making this gigantic album feel effortlessly intimate'
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