Album review | INDIE POP


Out of Wisconsin, the six-piece PHOX is the kind of band that sounds thoroughly modern, like a time capsule of indie-pop circa 2014. Which is to say it’s the latest ensemble that mines classic strains of folk, pop, and soul with a dynamic woman on lead vocals. The Boston-bred Lake Street Dive also comes to mind, as does Lucius. Like its peers, PHOX (which is pronounced “fox”) gets a lot of mileage out of charm, particularly in a live setting. On this debut, not a single note is out of place. This is immaculate music, beautifully arranged, driven by acoustic instruments, and full of space in the melodies that ride singer Monica Martin’s voice like a gentle breeze. She’s a smoldering vocalist, smooth and reserved, in debt to the power of suggestion. “Everything I do, I do in slow motion,” she sings on “Slow Motion.” It all comes together like magic on “Evil,” a sparkling collision of harmonies, horns, banjo, and Martin’s elastic vocals. (Out Tuesday)


PHOX will play at the sold-out Newport Folk Festival on July 25.