|Genres||Art rock Indie rock Experimental rock Progressive rock Dream pop Electronic|
|Years active||2010 – present|
|Members||Trewin Howard, Ed Sanderson, Tim Douglas, Seryn Burden, James Cheeseman|
|Past members||Ross Crick, Jeb Hardwick|
Phoria are an English electronic five-piece band based in Brighton, UK. The band consists of Trewin Howard, James Cheeseman, Ed Sanderson, Tim Douglas, and Seryn Burden.
Phoria released their debut EP Yourself Still in 2010, followed by Bloodworks (Akira, 2013) and Display (X Novo, 2014). The EPs earned the band international critical and popular acclaim.
The band's first full-length album, Volition was released on 3rd June 2016.
Phoria began in 1997, when Trewin, former guitarist Jeb, and Ed began taking music lessons at their Salisbury primary school. Originally on cello, classical guitar, and violin, it was there that the three classmates first wrote and performed together.
As friends, they spent their youth in the Salisbury countryside, absorbing music and switching between the disciplines of songwriting, electric guitar, and piano, before leaving for University in 2005.
Jeb and Ed both attended the University of Southampton. Ed continued to study music, specialising in violin and piano. Jeb studied for a sociology degree, though spent much of his time experimenting with music and visual arts.
Trewin attended the Dartington College for the Performing Arts in Devon. He had initially enrolled on as fine arts course – utilising his skill as a painter – but was soon drawn back to music. He left Dartington with over two-hundred original musical compositions.
Having completed their studies, Trewin, Ed, and Jeb returned to Salisbury and took full time jobs. Jeb's included a brief spell as an insurance agent. Ed, with a passion for acting, took large but unfulfilling parts in a series of niche-market films.
It was not long before the three of them realised that their future lay elsewhere, and moved to Brighton – a city close to London with a reputation for creativity – to start their musical careers.
While studying at Southampton, Jeb and Ed had met Tim Douglas through a mutual friend. Following successful spells playing guitar in bands across the South West, Tim moved to Brighton to play bass, and complete the Phoria line-up along with then drummer, Ross Crick.
Seryn Burden joined the band in August 2011, twelve months after the release of Yourself Still, following Ross's departure.
In 2016, following the release of Volition, and a string of successful EPs and UK and international tours, Jeb Hardwick left Phoria to pursue a career in film making. He was replaced by James Cheeseman.
Yourself Still (2010)
The band's first EP Yourself Still was released in 2010 and earned positive reviews across the blogosphere. Popular blog The Sirens Sound reviewed the EP, stating that '[Yourself Still]...carries various musical vibes from cinematic orchestra to post-rock and indie-rock to a stunning pop environment leading the overall outcome of this record to blazed emotion.' Describing Phoria as 'A band you definitely want to keep an eye on.' Similarly, online alternative music zine InForty.com described the EP as 'A delicate mix of indie and post-rock', continuing: 'Phoria...already boast a sophisticated and polished sound. It’s a mournful one too, but they don’t dwell on it – there’s too much progression and dreamy ambition for that.'
The much anticipated Bloodworks was released through Akira Records in Spring 2013.
Lead single 'Red' hit number 2 in The Hype Machine blog aggregator charts within only a few days, cementing the track as one of the standout singles of 2013 from a relatively unknown band. With the single released just days before the EP, popular magazine ThisIsFakeDIY said of the track '[It gives] the impression that this here EP's going to be a game-changer. Glossy production is met midway by a startling, intimate style of songwriting, half Youth Lagoon, half something grander and more orchestral.'
The EP was met with glowing reviews. Earmilk.com said of the band: 'they took their unique approach and ran with it, producing a composition where all five songs stand apart as gems. They have created an overall unique experience, with emotion drawn out from the subtle and unweighted vocal approach. Every component seems to build and break down around the travelling vocals and in doing so, they create an almost angelic feeling at times.' Musicbrokemybones described Bloodworks as an '...incredibly captivating record.'
Several tracks from the EP have been licensed to festival-featured European cinema, and Canadian television series Saving Hope.
Volition was released in June 2016 following several delays. It received positive reviews across the critical sphere, with The 405 describing the album as 'gigantic...[yet] effortlessly intimate,' praising the 'cohesion in sound and vision'. Ben Yung of therevue.ca gave a glowing review, stating: 'Volition is stunning, an absolute emotional roller coaster from start to finish. It is easy to understand why it took two years for the Brighton-based five-piece to complete their debut, as every single detail has been given the utmost attention and the production is refined and masterful. Every note, every vocal component, every lyric, every instrumental texture has been attended to and nothing feels out of place. With the precision of a surgeon and the steely aim of an assassin, Phoria hits every mark, including piercing a hole through our hearts with their visceral and emotional electronica.'
The album was supported by festival appearances throughout 2016 and a UK and European tour.
Phoria draw on a range of musical genres to create their sound. In the days of Yourself Still, chordal guitar figures and often dense instrumentation drew comparisons to such bands as Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and Mew. Popular music blog therecommender.net, when reviewing preview material from the bands then forthcoming Bloodworks EP, wrote 'This...isn't just reminiscent of Radiohead, this is reminiscent of Radiohead at their best.' Martin Grech, Cinematic Orchestra, and Elbow are also major influences. The band have more recently been compared favourably to Aphex Twin, Autechre, and James Blake, thanks to their embracing of modern music technology, unusual but dramatic musical sense, and DIY ethos.
- Yourself Still (EP) (2010)
- Bloodworks (EP) (2013)
- Display (EP) (2014)
- Volition (2016)
- Sirens Sound blog. "Review: Yourself Still". Phoria: Yourself Still. SirensSound. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- InForty.com. "Review: Yourself Still". Phoria: Yourself Still. InForty.com. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- MrSuicideSheep (2 May 2014). "Phoria – Emanate" – via YouTube.
- therecommender.net. "Phoria". 22/8/2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- "Phoria Myspace". www.myspace.com/phoriamusic.