PHOX perform live in The Current studio

PHOX perform "1936" live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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PHOX perform in The Current studio (full interview)
| 20:54
  • PHOX perform in The Current studio (full interview) 20:54
  • PHOX, '1936' performed at The Current 03:23
  • PHOX, 'Kingfisher' performed at The Current 03:14
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PHOX perform in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

PHOX's lead singer and lyricist Monica Martin, like the rest of her bandmates, didn't expect to be one of the year's biggest breakout acts. As a result, her rather autobiographical lyrics are reaching a lot more ears than she initially expected. "I find myself retroactively apologizing to people for exploiting our relationships," Martin says.

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Zach Johnston of PHOX in The Current's studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

However personal the songs may be in origin, PHOX's music is reaching bigger and bigger audiences all the time. In town to play a sold-out show at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, PHOX made their first visit to The Current's studio, where they played some songs and chatted with Mark Wheat.

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Monica Martin of PHOX in The Current's studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

The Baraboo, Wis., six-piece have enjoyed a meteoric rise since the release of their 2013 EP Confetti, its songs accompanied by artful videos created by PHOX's Zach Johnston. Not long thereafter, PHOX sold out the High Noon Saloon in Madison, Wis., just 18 months ago. "That's when I realized people really like us," Martin says.

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PHOX perform in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

Since then, PHOX have played numerous venues and festivals in the U.S. and in the U.K., and they are now touring in support of their self-titled, debut full-length that was recorded at Justin Vernon's studio in Eau Claire, Wis.

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Matteo Roberts of PHOX in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

Listen to the complete interview to hear: Johnston debunk the Internet-fuelled rumors about how the band began; Martin describe her bemusement at the band's explosive success; and guitarist Matteo Roberts explain just what makes the town of Baraboo such "a bizarrely special place."

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PHOX perform in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

Songs Performed


"1936"
"Kingfisher"
All songs off PHOX's self-titled debut, out now on Partisan Records.

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PHOX perform in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Wesley Berger
Web feature by Luke Taylor

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  • First Listen: Phox, 'Phox' Soft and dreamy, with a pace that rarely rises above a moody midtempo swoon, Phox's self-titled debut has a way of seeping under the skin and dazzling with maximum gentility.

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