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PHOX perform live in The Current studio

PHOX perform in The Current studio.
PHOX perform in The Current studio.MPR photo/Nate Ryan
  Play Now [20:54]

by Mark Wheat

August 05, 2014

PHOX, '1936' performed at The Current
by MPR
PHOX, 'Kingfisher' performed at The Current
by MPR

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

Songs Performed

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

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