Indie songwriter Neil Berthier, formerly of indie rock band Donovan Wolfington's new project PHONY has signed with Smartpunk Records. His genre-bending debut album, Songs You’ll Never Sing (out October 18th) is an amalgamation of emotional pop songs coupled with dark droning trails of the mind, leaving the listener wondering what is coming next.
Songs You’ll Never Sing was recorded, mixed, and engineered by Michaels Saladis one blistering hot week at The Palace in New Orleans. The humidity is felt throughout the record, bringing delirium to the forefront and putting the woes of the mundane on the back burner. Inspired by the progressiveness of indie rock staples like Built to Spill and Death Cab For Cutie, PHONY keeps an even keel by combining that with the classic sensibilities of Nirvana and Weezer’s Pinkerton. The subject matter covers everything from love, trust, psychedelics, anxiety, alcoholism and lucid dreams that feel much like the songs themselves.
The music video for "Dr. Ayahuasca" was released on August 29th. "Musically, the song is supposed to emulate if Rivers Cuomo from Weezer took acid and how that would affect their pop rock formula,” explains Berthier. “Lyrically, it’s about a time an ex-lover and I took psychedelics during Mardi Gras a few years ago. It was midnight and she told me she hadn’t heard a lot of classic rock, specifically The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix. We lit 20 candles in the small studio apartment bathroom and sat in a bubble bath for four hours playing with this red ribbon in the water. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience and the classics never die."
The now Boston-based act has been traveling alone for some time now. After originally hailing from New Orleans and building a strong and loyal following in the vast musical ecosystem that the city is known for, he spent a year in Nashville to calm down for a while and get back to loving music again. In the process of doing so, Berthier moved to Chicago, where he started to tour and perfect the direction of where he wanted to go next with the project. Fall tour dates are currently being routed and will be announced shortly.
Pre-orders for Songs You’ll Never Sing including limited-edition vinyl and merchandise are under way and can be purchased from Smartpunk Records’ web store.