More Details Regarding Phish’s New Album ‘Big Boat’ Emerge

By Andy Kahn Sep 8, 2016 9:08 am PDT

Yesterday Phish announced the October 7th release of their 13th studio album Big Boat. While few details were revealed beyond the album artwork and a teaser video, some additional information about the LP can pulled from what’s already been shared.

The album art was created in 2008 by Beijing-based artist Fang Er as part of her Don’t Touch Me! series. The image selected by Phish for the Big Boat cover art is titled Don’t Touch Me! #12. Other prints in the series can be viewed via Shanghai’s M97 Gallery, which described the series like this:

By carefully manipulating and reconstructing these buildings, Fang Er revives the loss of symmetry and proportion that is absent within present day China in her series Don’t Touch Me!. She is “sensitive” to the perpetual transformation amongst the constant chaos and discord that exists in a burgeoning country. In an unconventional way she is able to anthropomorphize these buildings, giving them humanistic qualities resulting in abstract, delicate alien-like figures.

Wednesday evening’s announcement also came with a teaser video that animated the cover art and included a soundtrack featuring a clip from one of the tracks on the album. The song purportedly hasn’t been played live by Phish yet, but it appears the track has been performed live on stage by the quartet. As noted by Twitter user MakeAmericaMeltAgain/@beginners_ear Phish soundchecked a similarly sounding tune prior to their show at The Mann Center For The Performing Arts in Philadelphia on June 29. Captured in a Periscope video by Dave D the Page McConnell-led song begins at about the 3:15 mark in the clip below:

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Today, Rolling Stone published a Fall Preview which includes Big Boat among the LP’s detailed. The brief piece reveals “Miss You” will be featured on the album:

At the end of sessions for 2014’s Fuego, Phish’s producer Bob Ezrin left them with a final thought: “He said, ‘I’d love to know more about you guys,'” says singer-guitarist Trey Anastasio. “‘Who are you? What breaks your heart?'” Big Boat tries to answer those questions; “Miss You” is a ballad Anastasio says he wrote about a personal loss, and other members wrote about “the twists and turns of life.” “There’s definitely a point of view to this one,” says Anastasio. “We’re old enough to have a healthy respect for mortality.”

Phish will begin a Fall Tour on October 14 at North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, South Carolina.

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