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Pumice returns with an exquisite experimental bathroom sink pop record in hand, dubbed Phylis. This time out the long-running Aotearoa band, currently a duo consisting of Stefan Neville and Jade Farley, fracture sore-thumbed folk songs into crumpled bricks with riffs written on the toilet. Wonky South Pacific skiffle careens into heady organ dirges followed by galloping blurts of afterlife feedback. As ever, texture and accidents rub up against melodies, rhythms are not strict and words are grubby. But with Phylis, the restless band tenders its most exuberant, straightforward and enjoyable pop record yet.
Recorded at Neville’s Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland studio in 2021, Neville and Farley have returned to the simple and joyful instincts of the earliest Pumice recordings. Nylon strings, drums with the feet, the empty and the absurd. Impossible to think of something analogous to the cosmic comforts on offer here, Phylis once more presents songs that could only come from the world of Pumice.