Phosphene wrote and recorded their upcoming record “Lotus Eaters” during a time of mass upheaval and transition, leaning into the cathartic process of songwriting to resist falling into an apathetic stasis. While the preceding sentence could easily refer to the past few months alone, this record was informed by the 2016 presidential election and its expansive impact, that has only become more pronounced during the pandemic and protests for racial justice. “Lotus Eaters,” the second full-length album from the indie rock trio, arrives four years after their last EP “Breaker” and a move from the Bay Area to Portland.
“The Wave” is the final single ahead of the album release on July 7. Propelled by a solid bassline and memorable guitar riffs, it’s one of the breeziest tracks on “Lotus Eaters” and highlights the shift in sound into which Phosphene has grown: one that is distinctly more confident, playful, and atmospheric. “The Wave” is a catchy, danceable tune ripe for summer even as its lyrics speak to challenges faced by the band members and the community that formed them. Drummer Matt Hemmerich writes that “it details the uprooting we experienced in the Bay Area due to the tech boom and gentrification. We had a deep history there as it was the place our band was formed, but the rapid change made it a challenge to afford rent and live as independent creatives.”
Even as Phosphene grapple with their own experiences, they are making a point to support intersectional social justice through their art with a permanent pledge to donate 25% of album proceeds to the Black United Fund and the National Bail Fund Network. “Right now—and moving forward—it’s essential to bail people out, particularly Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ folks, so that this movement can endure with strength in numbers and continue to be led by those same individuals at the helm,” writes Hemmerich. “We included Black United Fund for their commitment to lift local BIPOC communities here in Oregon through scholarships, grants, and other services. True equality cannot be achieved without equity, and their work speaks directly to this. We’re excited and honored to assist both organizations however we can.”
“The Wave” is out now, and you can hear all 10 tracks that make up “Lotus Eaters” on July 7.