XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “J-Boy” by Phoenix

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Phoenix | Photo by John Vettese

The French pop band Phoenix are back with an irresistible new song, “J-Boy,” from their forthcoming album Ti Amo.

The album is being released on June 9th, slightly over fours years since the release of Bankrupt!. The last we heard from the band they appeared in the 2015 Netflix special A Very Murray Christmas, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola (the spouse of lead singer Thomas Mars). The group played a cover of The Beach Boys’ “Alone on Christmas Day,” with Bill Murray on backing vocals.

Last week, in an interview with the New York Times, guitarist Laurent Brancowitz says the record recalls “summer and Italian discos.”

While the album’s first single doesn’t musically reflect any tangible disco beats, there’s no doubt it would sound divine coming out of any set of speakers, a disco club or otherwise. It’s euphoric, appropriately frenetic, shiny, and slickly produced in a circa 1983 kind of way – or maybe it’s 1985 kind of way – yet it doesn’t sound out of fashion.

“J-Boy” starts with a warm up synth line and drum machine beat that takes its cues from “I Need A Beat” by LL Cool J, and then heads into familiar Phoenix territory that we love the band for: big melodies, precision musicianship, colorful harmonies, and big hooks. Listen to “J-Boy” below. The band are playing The Fillmore on June 2nd; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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