The Phoenix Foundation have lived many lives. From high school distortion addicts to indie folk trippers to masters of motorik dream pop. It’s been five years since their last album, Give Up Your Dreams, but that downtime has been well spent. The New Zealand outfit have been writing, recording, touring with a Symphony Orchestra, creating the acclaimed soundtrack for Taika Waititi's Hunt For The Wilderpeople, building shrines to light, creating scores for VR, producing other bands and, that most lockdown-friendly activity, baking sourdough. Slowly, when they could, the six old friends found time to work together in studios, garages, forests, andsheds to put together the concise ten song set of that is Friend Ship. Friend Ship, as you would expect, weaves seamlessly between dreamy introspective pop, stretched out grooves and psychedelic rock, it also exists as a collection of masterfully crafted songs.
And much like the band is able to happily glide between numerous genres, they too have brought in a number of different styles and voices in the form of guest contributions. Nadia Reid, Hollie Fullbrook (Tiny Ruins), Dave Dobbyn, Anita Clark and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra all feature. The role of collaboration is key to the record, not only because of the weight and character that each brings to their performance, but because the album is rooted in friendship. The album is of course named after it.