Phish – Sigma Oasis (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:06:08 minutes | 1,52 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © JEMP Records
“Sigma Oasis” is the 14th studio album released by the American rock band Phish, released on the band’s JEMP Records. Phish did not plan to release Sigma Oasis in April 2020, but decided to move up the release date due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic; In a statement, the band wrote “When we recorded the album, we didn’t plan to release it this way. But today, because of the environment we’re all in, it just feels right. We don’t know the next time that we’re all going to be able to be together. This is an opportunity to have a moment where the Phish community can share something despite being physically separated”. The album was recorded at their studio The Barn and was produced by the band and Vance Powell.
Something interesting happens halfway through “Everything’s Right,” a 12-minute track on Sigma Oasis. For a while, it’s everything you might expect from a Phish record nearly 40 years into their career: an intentionally mind-numbing chorus (“Everything’s right/So just hold tight”) set to a melody that cycles between sunny major chords like a beach ball infinitely bobbing through a crowd of outstretched arms. It’s light and goofy—sorta funky. But then it shifts. Around the five-minute mark, after Trey Anastasio finishes a polite vamp on the word “alright,” he kicks off a guitar solo. Page McConnell follows on the organ. Soon, the whole band is in on it, listening intently to one another and changing shape, one note at a time. Suddenly, Phish is jamming, and you’re right there with them.
On a studio record by this band, it sounds like a total breakthrough. For longer than most groups have been around, the accepted wisdom was that Phish were unable to capture their spontaneous energy off the stage. Combined with their unremarkable songwriting, this failure has resulted in a discography that feels secondary to their actual legacy, best understood through decades of bootlegs, and even better by attending one of their inventive, Odyssean live shows. Maybe their last album, 2016’s obnoxious Big Boat, was rock bottom, the moment they knew something had to change. Maybe veteran producer Bob Ezrin, who departed after helming their past few releases, was to blame. Maybe Anastasio’s solo detour with Ghosts of the Forest was an actual creative reckoning as depicted in 2019’s fawning documentary, Between Me and My Mind. Whatever the case, Sigma Oasis is a pleasant surprise, a small joy, an unlikely course correction. – Sam Sodomsky, Pitchfork
01 – Sigma Oasis
02 – Leaves
03 – Everything’s Right
04 – Mercury
05 – Shade
06 – Evening Song
07 – Steam
08 – A Life Beyond The Dream
09 – Thread
Produced by Phish and Vance Powell.
Recorded in November 2019 by Vance Powell, Michael Fahey, Ben Collette, and Jared Slomoff.
Mixed by Vance Powell at Sputnik Sound. Mix Assisted by Michael Fahey.
Mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Mastering, Nashville, TN.
Trey Anastasio – guitars, lead vocals
Page McConnell – keyboards, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on “Leaves”
Mike Gordon – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jon Fishman – drums, backing vocals, marimba on “Mercury”