Album of the Week: Darci Phenix – Wishbone (Team Love)

Album of the Week: Darci Phenix – Wishbone (Team Love)

Wishbone from Portland’s Darci Phenix is described as ‘an act of love’ and with by turns delicate and brutal fairytale-esque motifs is the folk-pop record we all need right now, out via Team Love. 

Darci Phenix WishboneArtist: Darci Phenix
Release: Wishbone
Label: Team Love Records
Released: 8 January 2021
Find it: Spotify | Bandcamp

There is a delicate and other-worldly feel to Wishbone, the second album from Portland-based Darci Phenix.

Described as ‘an act of love’, and ‘a product of isolation, retrospection, and self-reckoning’ the nostalgia is bittersweet; a yearning fairytale full of intricacies but balanced with brutal  realism pragmatically delivered. It’s an album perfectly of this moment, but with the mellow musicality, delighting detail, and bags of charm of something set to be timeless too.

Growing up around a community of Sacramento musicians including her parents, and drawing on the influence of folk and country singer-songwriters, Wishbone is the follow up to Phenix’ 2017 debut album The Blue Period. Here she draws on the musical community around her to add depth to what at times sounds like a sparse album, while conjuring imagery of a sepia-tinged world where the reality of the moment is pulled on equally by the possibilities of the future and the experiences of ones past.

‘Said, self-destruction ain’t fun / unless you commit to it / I am trying not to mind / that I might not be enough / to keep you alive’

Lead single Hospitality captures this duality, as around Phenix’ keening and breathy vocal grows pedal steel and percussion. Here, the moments matter, the detail of coming of age and coming undone making this a song much more of hope than melancholy, and of self-acceptance even in the embrace of self-destruction.

The overriding lesson in the album seems to be that solitude is beautiful, but the reflections it brings can be brutal too. On Wishbone Phenix embraces it all and weaves it together with loving care and an adept hand keeping the stunning detail understated so it glimmers rather than blinds. They say this album is the hug we all need but can’t have right now, and that feels true enough. A graceful and honest reflective piece of folk-pop which draws on a community to help realise Phenix’ singular vision.

Wishbone by Darci Phenix is out now on limited edition cassette and digitally via Team Love Records.

Find Darci Phenix: WebsiteTwitter | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

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We took a hiatus at the end of 2020 but put together a list of our Top 40 albums from the year – check it out here.

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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