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Glen Phillips explores universal themes of transition in his new solo effort, Swallowed by the New. Phillips has always been a courageous and inviting songwriter and he deepens the personal aspects of his songwriting with this quiet, intimate album. During his years as lead singer of the influential alt-rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket, the group’s elegant folk/pop sound and Phillips’ honest, introspective lyrics helped them forge a close bond with their fans. Since starting his solo career, Phillips has pared his music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound spiritual understanding. Swallowed by the New takes on life’s difficult transitions and delivers some of the Phillips’ most vulnerable songs. “I made this album during the dissolution of a 23 year marriage,” Phillips says. “A major chapter of my life was coming to a close, and I discovered early on that I had to work hard to get through the transition with compassion and clarity. These songs were a big part of that process.”
Swallowed by the New is full of the inviting melodies that have always marked Phillips’ work, while his singing reaches a new degree of intimacy and immediacy. The arrangements hint at country, soul, folk, rock, and classic pop, without ever sounding derivative. The emotions may be raw, but they are guided by Phillips’ steady vocals towards healing and renewal.
Phillips started Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986, when he was still in high school. He was as surprised as anyone when their low-key folk rock landed them on the pop charts. When the band members decided to go their separate ways, Phillips began his solo career. Always open to new projects and unlikely collaborations, he’s toured and recorded with the supergroup octet known as Works Progress Administration, a band that included Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, as well as members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Elvis Costello’s Attractions. Other projects have included Mutual Admiration Society with Nickel Creek and Remote Tree Children, an experimental project with John Askew and Plover, with Neilson Hubbard and Garrison Starr.
-- This will be a seated show --
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