Never Better

Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better [Source]

As much as my focus has always fallen more on the tune than the artist, mining the past and present for timeless jewels with little concern for the shiny pebbles of the de rigueur, everyone should have a fan band; an outfit with whom you got in on the ground floor, that has you scouring forums for tour dates and pre-ordering the next release. If they’re French, well, all the better.

Back in mid-nineties Paris, a Beach Boys covers trio by the name of Darlin’ parted ways. Two members went on to become world dominating avant-garde synthpop duo Daft Punk, the third joined his little brother’s Prince-obsessed garage band Phoenix. By the time the Millenium Bug hadn’t struck the group had taken their first forays into french house, signed to Source and were gearing up to release United, a bizarre hotchpotch of alt country, college rock and soft-core sax. Defiantly unfashionable in their influences, Phoenix have since, with each keenly anticipated, brief and deceptively meticulous album, inched their mega-cult status nearer to the tipping point of mainstream new wave saturation.

Just one of several stand-out tracks from the début, the understated, jangly guitar-led Gallic indie disco of ‘If I Ever Feel Better’ (replete with Thomas Mars’ trademark impenetrable couplets) has made for an unlikely please-all that is fondly embraced by scenesters and clubbers alike. A kind of alternative, feather-light funk for the masses.

‘If I Ever Feel Better’ was released as a single after featuring on the Phoenix album United [Source/Virgin].


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