One of the most popular bands to come from France in recent years is Phoenix, whose style lies in the borderlands of alternative, indie, new wave, and jazz. While the group has been releasing records and playing packed tour dates for over ten years, it wasn't until the release of their most recent album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, in 2009 that Phoenix hit it big. The band's members are currently spending their time writing songs for their new album, with no official announcement on a title or release date yet. Unfortunately, with Phoenix in the studio, that means no more concert dates for 2011 past February, but fans can expect numerous tour dates upon the release of the album.
Phoenix began as a garage band in the suburbs of Paris in the early 90's by lead singer Thomas Mars, guitarist Chris Mazzalai, and bassist Deck d'Arcy. In 1995, Mazzalai's brother, Laurent Brancowitz, left his band Darlin' (which included Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk) and joined Phoenix as a second guitarist. It took the group two years of writing songs and playing tour dates to independently release a single before they were picked up by Source Records. Early on, the band made regular appearances as the back-up band for French duo, Air, on tour dates. The group released their debut LP, United, in 2000; while the album wasn't an instant success, the song "Too Young" was used in the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation. Phoenix's 2004 album, Alphabetical, achieved slightly more success and was supported by the singles "Everything Is Everything" and "Run Run Run". The success of the album afforded the group more publicity, as well as a number of worldwide, high profile tour dates.
It wasn't until 2009, with the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, that Phoenix became a commercial and critical success worldwide. The album included the hit singles "1901" and "Lisztomania," and both songs harken back to the late 19th / early 20th century Parisian style. The album won Phoenix a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2010, and also scored Phoenix a number of headlining tour dates. Also in 2010, Phoenix provided the majority of music for the film, Somewhere, by Sofia Coppola (whom Thomas Mars is currently dating and has two children with).
While Phoenix has no more scheduled concert dates in 2011, they are in the early stages of producing a new album. There is a camera set up in the band's rehearsal space, which plays on the band's website so fans can check out their progress. Unfortunately, fans will probably have to wait until 2012 for the announcement of new tour dates. Be sure to keep checking Eventful for the latest news on Phoenix's upcoming album and any updates on tour dates.