Indie rock band on the rise: PHOX play CSPS this Thursday

PHOX w/ Dolores

CSPS Hall — Thursday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.

The Wisconsin-based indie rock group PHOX perform at CSPS this Thursday, picking back up after a tremendous year for the group. In 2014, PHOX released their breakout self-titled album, performed on Conan and embarked on a month-long European tour, one which they’ve just returned from.

When they’re not living with each other on the road, the seven members of PHOX live together in a house in Madison, Wisconsin. I would imagine that this band — more than most — functions as something of a family. At least that’s what it feels like as an audience member at one of their shows. There are a lot of instruments and musicians onstage, yet they’re rarely overbearing. It takes a special kind of collaborative awareness to achieve the subtle complexity that PHOX’s compositions demonstrate.

In their self titled debut, lead singer Monica Martin lays down soulful vocals over calculated arrangements to create a brand of indie folk that is both dreamy and smart. The album was recorded at Justin Vernon’s home studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and was released in June of last year to widespread critical acclaim from the likes of NPR and the New York Times. It’s an impressive first offering from a band that is still very much on the rise.

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