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Phish Shares ‘Hey Stranger’, Lead Track From Upcoming Album ‘Evolve’

Photo credit: Danny Clinch

Continuing its exciting album rollout, Phish has shared “Hey Stranger,” the first track and third preview single from the groundbreaking jam group’s 16th studio album. To develop. To be released on July 12 as the band’s first studio album since 2020 Sigma Oasis, the new project collects fan favorites introduced by Trey Anastasio that have since become live staples for the entire band and reimagines them with Phish’s signature polished and expansive studio sound. The latest single follows this theme, turning up the heat on a recent Anastasio centerpiece with a heavy funk backbeat and pounding percussion.

Released during the artist’s quarantine shipment in 2022 GraceTrey’s original “Hey Stranger” is a sparse and compelling acoustic track that simmers with emotional power that remains succinctly understated. Phish’s treatment deviates dramatically from this template, conveying the titanic weight of the moody, insistent song through a meticulous new arrangement that emerges like a streetbeater theme straight out of a ’70s neo-noir film . A funky, gritty groove provides a red-hot baseline, from which the band builds a ripping jam with wailing synths, pounding breakbeats and an impressive guitar solo. All in all, the song is an undeniably strong intro to a top project, further illustrated by the previous singles ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Evolve’.

“Hey Stranger” is one of five songs on it To develop which can be traced back to Anastasio’s two recent solo albums, Lonely journey And Grace. Elsewhere, ‘Life Saving Gun’ was heard for the first time January, the 2023 collaboration between Anastasio and Page McConnell, and five other entries – “Pillow Jets,” “Monsters,” “Oblivion,” “Valdese” and “Ether Edge” – debuted by the trio of Anastasio, Fishman and Dezron Douglas in 2023. All of these songs reflect a productive period of renewed creativity the band has shown in recent years, culminating in their groundbreaking residency at Las Vegas’ Sphere in April; many of the songs featured on To develop were rehearsed during this run, and the only completely unknown entry is the beguiling ‘Human Nature’. Longtime producers Vance Powell and Bryce Goggin reprise their roles on the record, which was recorded in the fall of 2023 at The Barn, the band’s hallowed Vermont studio.

Evolve is available for pre-order now at the Phish Dry Goods store; vinyl listeners get exclusive access to the bonus track ‘The Well’. Learn more about the band, upcoming album and 2024 tour plans at phish.com.

Listen to “Hey Stranger” below and read on for the full tracklist To develop.

Phish – To develop:
Hey stranger
Forgetfulness
To develop
A wave of hope
Cushion jets
Lonely journey
Lifesaving pistol
Monsters
Ether edge
Human nature
Valdese
Grace
The source*
*Vinyl only

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