Gotta love this artwork.
Almost thirty years since her peerless debut album, Exile In Guyville, was released (voted #56 on Rolling Stone’s 2020 list of the 500 Greatest albums of All Time), Phair returns with a new record that will both intrigue and satisfy her long-standing fans, and introduce her to a smart young audience whose contemporary heroes have been reading from Phair’s playbook since they first picked up a guitar.
Soberish is a portrait of Phair in the present tense, taking all of the facets of her melodic output over the years and synthesising them into a beautiful, perfect whole. She’s at the top of her game in the recording studio, drawing upon years of experience in television composition to weave through the songs daring and unexpected sound design. With Brad Wood’s exquisite engineering and masterful production, the result is a wholly fresh yet satisfyingly familiar sound that challenges on the first listen and seduces with each subsequent play through. The earworms are strong with this one!
+ Indie LP is milky clear vinyl.
Phair says, “I found my inspiration for Soberish by delving into an early era of my music development, my art school years spent listening to Art Rock and New Wave music non-stop on my Walkman. The English Beat, The Specials, Madness, R.E.M.s Automatic for the People, Yazoo, The Psychedelic Furs, Talking Heads, Velvet Underground, Laurie Anderson, and the Cars. The city came alive for me as a young person, the bands in my headphones lending me the courage to explore.”
None of the arrangements on Soberish are traditional songwriting standards, but the hooks are so catchy, the imagery so compelling, that the listener is drawn effortlessly along with the music. There are the off-kilter, unexpected guitar chords listeners will recognise as her signature style, a mainstay from her earliest work; the instantly knowable choruses of her most pop-friendly songs of the early 2000’s; the frank lyricism and storytelling that has opened doors for countless women picking up guitars and attempting to speak about their experiences.
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Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.