Yadana Saw and Samuel Flynn Scott road test The Phoenix Foundation's new album for Final Mix

The Phoenix Foundation put Friend Ship to the ultimate test

Summer reissue: In the latest episode of Final Mix, Yadana Saw and The Phoenix Foundation’s Samuel Flynn Scott road test new songs from the band’s forthcoming album Friend Ship.

First published August 31, 2020.

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Samuel Flynn Scott originally wanted to call The Phoenix Foundation’s new album Anxiety. “Everything comes back to anxiety on this record,” the songwriter says in the latest episode of Final Mix.

In the end the band decided to name the album Friend Ship, which also feels accurate – the first two singles feature vocals from friends of the band Nadia Reid and Hollie Fullbrook (Tiny Ruins). 

Fullbrook sings on Tranquility, written by the band’s other main songwriter Luke Buda. “This song is so beautiful and calm and has such a beautiful sentiment,” says Scott. “It’s just really hard to believe that Luke came up with it.”

Reid sings on Scott’s Hounds of Hell, a song that deals with the anxiety-inducing theme of climate change. But ultimately, he says, “it’s a song about love persevering through hideous upheaval and uncertainty.”

Released in October, Friend Ship is the band’s seventh album, and their first since 2015’s Give Up Your Dreams. In the interim, the band has been kept busy recording soundtracks for film and television under the name Moniker.

Adjusting back to a more personal style of songwriting for The Phoenix Foundation took some time. “It was quite an effort to fully emotionally engage [at first]”, Scott says. “But then when we did, it’s a more honest album than we’ve made in at least 10 years.”

Friend Ship was released on October 16. Listen to it here. 

Final Mix is made with the support of NZ On Air.




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