“For me, songs are like a musical exorcism—they come out screaming and I interpret them later on,” says Nick Phourist, of the Louisville, Kentucky-based quartet Phourist and the Photons. The band’s aptly-titled latest, We're All Born Screaming, offers forth a viscerally distilled edition of the group’s stately and tuneful indie-rock allowing for maximum cathartic impact.
It’s no surprise Nick is cagey about the meaning of his songs, preferring the listener to have his or her own interpretations. Yet, he does acknowledge that a death in his family last year played a big role in the album’s creation. He also cites existential angst and day-in-life struggles as artistic fodder.
Phourist and The Photons is known for its non-linear songcraft which includes winding musical passages and adventurous arrangements flanking undeniable pop-rock hooks. Previously, the quartet has issued one album, but We're All Born Screaming represents the first album of the band’s current and stable lineup. Phourist and the Photons is Nick Phourist Hill, vocals, piano, guitar, songwriting; Justin Perez, bass, various other musical contributions; Andrew Critchelow guitar, textures; and Scott Boice, drums, percussion.
Though he prefers to keep his artistic intentions close to his vest, Nick does reveal his thoughts surrounding the band’s name. “I like that it has a nerdy sci-fi vibe, and an old school ‘Buddy Holly and The Crickets’ thing to it. I also love a good alliteration,” he says.
We're All Born Screaming offers forth a user-friendly edition of Phourist and the Photons. Here, the band’s prog-rock tendencies are tempered by sharp pop tunesmithing, and the tunes are more viscerally emotive. The nine-song album traverses intimate piano ballads, atmospheric acoustic singer-songwriter territory, dreamy indie rock, and brawny blues riffage.
Nick is optimistic about the future of Phourist and The Photons because the band has an upcoming tour booked for spring 2019, a new record written, and, finally, a stable lineup. On what has finally solidified band personnel Nick shares: “We all have the same Myers Briggs personality, INFP. We almost changed the name of the band to that!”