A new album is on the way from Phourist & the Photons and the band describes it as the best one yet. The official release is Saturday.
“The overall feel of the album is very cathartic, like a musical exorcism,” said Nick Hill of Louisville.
The band is made up of Hill, lead vocalist who also plays piano, acoustic guitar among other instruments; Scott Boice, of Louisville, on percussion; Andrew Critchelow, of Elizabethtown, on electric guitar and Justin Perez, of Elizabethtown, on bass guitar.
“We’re four nice boys who do our best,” Boice said of the group.
The album titled “We’re All Born Screaming” will be available on online music stores, at www.phourist.bandcamp.com and physical copies will be for sale at band performances.
“The songs have emotional weight to them but not necessarily in the lyrics,” Boice said. “We’ve allowed ourselves to experiment with tone, tempo and rhythm a bit more to create sonic moods.”
The album was recorded about a year ago at TNT studios in Louisville.
Critchelow, a reporter at The News-Enterprise said he and Perez joined the band just a few months before recording.
“I think Nick was wanting to do a real Bob Dylan-style approach to recording: get some guys in a room, give them an idea of how the song goes and hit record,” Critchelow said. “Listening to the album now, it kind of sounds like we’re all nervously trying to figure out what the next chord is and I think that naivety adds to the vibe of the record Nick was going for.”
Perez said the album has different vibes.
“There is a lot of tug of war going on through the lyrics and also through the sounds that we’ve created,” he said. “There is tension and also calming release.”
To celebrate the album release, the band is having a sold out release show at TNT Productions in Louisville.
“At this show, each audience member gets their own pair of headphones with a live mix of the performance occurring before them piped right into their ears,” Hill said.
From the songs released so far, band members said the fan response has been good.
“I think people are jazzed about the new tracks because it’s a nice blend of old Phourist & the Photons and a bit of a new vibe,” Hill said.
Critchelow said the album has been featured on a few music blogs. This is the band’s third album release.
“Which excites me because that allows people from outside of the 270 and 502 area codes to hear of Phourist and the Photons,” he said.
Hill said the band’s progress through the years is through “sheer exertion” and “tons and tons of hard work.”
“Nick and I have been at this project for coming up on five years,” Boice said. The band started with the two of them and bassist Stuart Wicke.
“When he (Wicke) left for Ireland, Andrew Critchelow and Justin Perez were chomping at the bit to get in there,” he joked. “That’s maybe an exaggeration but they were — and are, I hope — excited to become Photons.”
Critchelow had been a fan of the band long before he joined.
“I’ve shared the bill with them on a few gigs while playing with my previous band Bury the Lede and I was always impressed by their songwriting, dynamics and musical sensibilities,” he said.
He first was approached about playing bass but he didn’t own a bass rig and suggested his friend Perez.
“I then asked Nick if he would consider letting me play electric guitar in the band,” he said, adding they became a package deal.
When the band goes on tour, there always is something interesting that happens.
“The life of an indie band is really quite something,” Hill said.
One story sticks out that makes him laugh. They played Waterfront Wednesday last year to an audience of thousands, which was a big deal for the band.
“That show was glorious — the roar of a massive crowd and everything,” he said adding the experience made him feel like a true rock star.
The following week, they played across the river at a bar for a crowd of two.
“The juxtaposition was so funny but the two people that were there though were so into our music that it made that show fun,” he said. “If you two guys are reading this right now, thanks so much.”
The band also has had its share of tour horror stories.
“Without implicating the individual or the town, let’s just say our last trip to Ohio went a little off the wayside,” Boice said. “One double booked hotel room later, Andrew is sleeping on a fireplace mantle; Justin is sawing logs louder than my white noise play list and Nick played Nintendo Switch until the sunrise while I tried my best to sleep.”
Perez said playing the Exit in Nashville is a highlight because of the legendary bands who have played on that stage. While in Chicago, he accidentally left his car door open all night long. Luckily none of their money or equipment was stolen.
As a band, they have visions for the future that mostly revolve around the music.
“In five years or less the plan is to be a highly successful touring and recording band,” Hill said, adding he wouldn’t complain if they were packing out theaters and headlining festivals around the world.
Boice has similar goals. He wants to go on a long tour, maybe even a world tour.
“We want to play the UK and Japan and I’d love to do some stops in smaller island nations as well,” he said.
But more realistically he wants to find a bigger band to tour with for a few shows.
“Up and coming bands usually have good success after doing that once or twice,” he said.
But the overall goal is to make the music they want to play and possibly quit their day jobs to focus on the music, he said.
Critchelow said his goal is to make music that resonates with others.
“Any connection I can make with others through music, whether if it’s during a performance or if they’re hearing our music on their morning commute, is so important to me,” he said.
Boice said he can’t thank those who have supported the band along the way enough and the band is already hard at work on their next album.
“We hope you love this album and the next one,” he said. “I gotta say, the new one will be a pretty sweet departure into new territory, but don’t worry it’ll have that same Phourist Phlair.”