Phoria – Display EP

Phoria’s brand new EP ‘Display’ has already managed to receive rave reviews and considerable attention and after being hailed as ‘the most blogged about band’ at the moment – Brighton has managed to do it again and produce from its shores another stunning band with a very bright future ahead of them.

‘Display’ begins with the stunning and haunting vocals from lead singer Trewin Howard on a seemingly simple ‘Emanate’ – however, listen closely and you can hear the sheer amount of intricate production and craftsmanship that has been put into the track. Like most Phoria tracks, ‘Emanate’ opens subtlety and transcends into a crescendo ending with a powerful use of heavy electronics and distant cries. The build-up in this track progresses so naturally and provides us with so much emotion whilst drawing us into the story of Emanate.

'Undone', like 'Emanate', leads with soft harmonising vocals but then suddenly transports us into another realm with the use of the beautiful (yet humble) piano sound which is so core to Phoria’s work. Ed Sanderson’s (piano) elongated use of sustain on these chords helps add to the dream like nature of 'Undone' whilst remaining the driving force. We are gently led along a journey with the mesmerising piano mixed with haunting vocals until we are almost catapulted into the chorus lifting us up with lyrics ‘You were my first time’ continuing the original vocal hook that begins the track. 'Undone' entwines complex beats with an unobtrusive string section which all works together to create the dreamy landscape.

Leading with guitar, 'Atomic' to me seems to me the odd track out in the ‘Display’ EP and, while the track remains very ‘Phoria’, the sudden tempo and atmosphere change is unsettling and a little disjointed. Of course I understand the benefits of having variety in the EP but I can’t quite put my finger on why it doesn’t sit well with the rest of the EP. Structurally, 'Atomic' holds all the qualities of the perfect Phoria song with its crescendo ending, epic nature and electronic beats mixed with effortless vocals, perhaps 'Atomic' aroused me up from my Phroia induced dream that 'Emanate' and 'Undone' so easily lured me into.

This is without doubt my favourite track off the EP.  The understated vocal hook which leads this track kept swimming around in my head for days after first listening to it. Whilst this track builds up momentum like the rest of the Phoria tracks, the careful and thoughtful mixing of 'Efforttobreath' allows the main emphasis to stay on Howard’s vocals and the subtle drums. The consistent and gentle tempo of the song allows us to breath (ironically, unlike the title), contemplate and concentrate on the delicate vocals and intricacies of the track.  

Robin’s Cello
This track is only released on the vinyl edition of the EP and after hearing it, I couldn’t imagine ending the ‘Display’ any other way than with such a wonderful composition which has to be one of the most beautiful and uplifting tracks I’ve heard in a long time.  Reminiscent of Dario Marianelli’s film scores, Bach’s cello suites yet with a twisted, sombre hint of Satie’s ‘Gnossienes’ – Phoria have written a simple, yet intricate, melancholic yet hopeful track. After the previous heavily layered tracks, finishing with this song almost brought a tear to my eye. 'Robin’s Cello' holds a certain magic which you dare not break the aura by breathing too hard.