Lying somewhere between Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and T. Rex’s ‘Cosmic Dancer’, you have the unmistakable Izi Phoenix. The tale goes that the band came together after Izi Phoenix taught Xena Phoenix how to ride a motorcycle. He learned she played music, they jammed together and eventually ended up recording original material…the rest is history. While this is the first time I have come across the UK-based duo, the band has received coverage on various blogs across the globe including Pop Fad Blog, Indie O’Clock, Roadie Music, Born Music and Edgar Allan Poets. The latest addition to their critically acclaimed discography is the single ‘The Man I Met’.
Recorded with producer Neil “Bugs” Rogers at Half Ton Studios in Cambridge, ‘The Man I Met’ has a quiet intensity underlying the simplistic acoustic design. Penned while Izi Phoenix was working at a cattle station in Australia and away from Xena, ‘The Man I Met’ seems to have sprung from a place of tender vulnerability. The desire to remain close to a loved one regardless of the distance between you two is the palpable message behind this song. Its vocal harmonies ooze a poignant sadness while the acoustic instrumentation enhances its sentimentality. It is this wistful, hushed and ethereal sound that makes me mention a similarity to T. Rex’s ‘Cosmic Dancer’ – trust me on this one.
The melody certainly presents desolation and isolation in its arrangement, but it is the gruff rasping of Izi’s vocals that bring that true feeling of vulnerability. Described as being a sonic representation of “the darkness in the eyes of someone you don’t recognise when you look in the mirror”, ‘A Man I Met’ explores that innermost turmoil where you feel lost, confused and frightened. Almost overflowing with intricate vulnerability, Izi and Xena Phoenix delve into the complex fragility of the human soul with its simplistic soundscape. The thing is, while there is a simplicity to the tune, the overall emotive aspect is kaleidoscopic.
In addition to the single, Izi Phoenix released an official music video for ‘The Man I Met’. You can view the video below or on their YouTube Channel. Please note that the video uses lighting effects that can trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.