Release Talk

New Release – Yang (album) by The Jonny Phillips trio

todayJanuary 4, 2023 149 31

Background
share close

“A time of imbalance is about to cease. The end of chaos; the re-emergence of natural order…”

Routed in indie/rock with a smattering of blues and a hint of folk, The Jonny Phillips Trio have blended their combined musical origins to create a sound that is familiar, but also unique. Musically guaranteed to satisfy the soul and body, some intricate songwriting will satiate the mind.

Since the release of ‘yin’ early 2022, the trio set straight to work on the follow up EP ‘yang’ which is released on 13th January, and the opposite in every way of their debut EP.

With the ‘Small Cluster Of Local Gigs’ tour firmly locked in to promote the release of ‘yang’, the trio are set to lead us all to what many are calling ‘The Great Balancing’.

Recorded betwixt the studio and a camper van, ‘yang’ brings the personable more rustic feel of life to fruition – thus restoring balance with the previous ‘yin’. Each of the three songs represent either the future, present or past, covering themes of mental health, nostalgia and being true to yourself.

“‘Life Raft’ is the first track on the album, and has come to represent the future. The idea of the song was first formed on the empty streets of a Laos town on the banks of the Mekong River at 2 am. The lonesome feeling of being completely lost got me thinking of the parallels of mental health struggles, and the all-too-familiar feeling of aimlessness in life. There is an underlying positivity in the song though, as there is throughout the whole EP, and aims to inspire as opposed to worry.”

“A lot of our songs come from real experiences I’ve had, and it’s no different with ‘Nag Champa’ which represents the past. The chilled events within the song all took place just before a manic party, and was very much “the calm before the storm begins to blow”. Sticking a record on with a cup of tea and some incense slowly burning became my favourite past time, but it was never quite the same without other people there. The people at the time all experienced the same tranquility before the party, and seeing them in both contrasting states was fascinating and a very real and human experience.”

“This EP is ‘yang’, the follow up to ‘yin’, and was designed to be the opposite in every way – from song themes, to instrumentation and structure, all the way to the recording process and production. We took a long time over ‘yin’ and discovered that all of the songs were broader in theme, and more cynical (realist maybe?), and the whole thing took two to three years to complete, for various reasons. We were quite perfectionist in our approach to recording and producing it and created something that is full sounding and quite polished.”

“With ‘yang’ we gave ourselves a few months to get it all done -it took a bit longer than planned due to a broken wrist, and we tried to record everything in no more than two takes. We didn’t add a lot of extra production other than some extra vocals and guitars, and tried to keep everything relatively raw. Half of it was recorded in a studio, and half was recorded in my campervan, aiming to keep everything as simple and basic as we could allow ourselves.”

“Having said that, we have managed to record a bunch of our friends singing and turned them into a choir! Thank you to the magic of mixing/mastering wizard Niko Battistini.”

“So it’s different to our previous release in that it’s designed to be that way, but it’s similar in that it’s the counterpart to it. And thus is the beauty of Yin and Yang; the balance of all things.”

“I find it so hard to pick to pick a favourite on the album! Every time I think one is my favourite, my mind changes to another one. I like each of them for different reasons I think, and each have an appeal – certainly to me at least. ‘Life Raft’ has turned out quite different to how it began, and I think it sounds great, I really love how it’s developed. I like how various themes have cropped up throughout the writing and recording process too. Then with ’Never Change’, it was written about my daughter, so of course there’s always a place in my heart for that one. I thought that was the one to release as a single – which we did, because I thought it was more commercial sounding, but people have told me that ‘Life Raft’ may have been the better choice. It’s all subjective I suppose! Then finally ’Nag Champa’… I just love the choir at the end! But I think we’ve managed to capture sonically the feeling and vibe of the time it was written about, which I feel is a good achievement when writing about a specific past event.”

Pre-save ‘yang’ here.

The Jonny Phillips Trio are: Jonny Phillips (vocals/guitar), Kris Venzi-James (bass) and Justin Young (drums).

For fans of: Kula Shaker, Maximo Park, Bastille and Del Amitri.

Written by: leancool20

Rate it

Previous post


0%