Jam-band heroes Phish have released a new studio album, Sigma Oasis, after hosting a worldwide listening party on social media Wednesday night.
Per a press release, the album’s songs were recorded by Trey Anastasio and and the band with producer Vance Powell last November at the Barn, Phish’s studio in Burlington, Vermont.
The rollout of Sigma Oasis was a bit of a surprise, with the band first announcing it on Tuesday during a break in a concert being streamed via LivePhish.com.
Sigma Oasis is the 14th full-length album from Phish to date, and the first since 2016’s Big Boat. Per a statement, it wasn’t originally in the plans to release the record now — but the ongoing coranavirus pandemic changed the group’s mind about what to do:
Vance had some stuff on his schedule so he asked as a favor if we would mind if he didn’t mix until early March. Now four months might sound like a long time, but it gave all of us time to work on the tracks — Page overdubbed a lot of keyboards at home. Trey went to a studio in New York and did vocals and percussion. We had time to pick which songs we wanted to work on. We let a few of them go, which was difficult, but that’s ok.
When we recorded the album, we didn’t plan to release it this way. But today, because of the environment we’re all in, it just feels right. We don’t know the next time that we’re all going to be able to be together. This is an opportunity to have a moment where the Phish community can share something despite being physically separated.
The last line of the chorus of “Sigma Oasis” sums up this point — There’s no place to get. There’s nothing to achieve. There’s no place to be. We’re here. Right here, right now is as good as it gets. “You’re already there.” It’s a content state of mind. You’re just completely in the moment. “You’re already there.” You already have everything you need. Sigma Oasis. It aligns with where we are in our career and as friends and musicians. There’s a joy to the playing. We’re not clamoring to make it. Make what? We’re already there! Sigma Oasis.
Stream Sigma Oasis below, via Spotify: