Reunited jam merchants Phish will release "Joy," its eleventh studio album and first in five year, on September 8, the band announced on its website today. "Joy," recorded earlier this year at Chung King Studios in New York City, sees the group joining forces with producer Steve Lillywhite for ten new songs, many of which were debuted live during the triumphant return to the stage this spring and summer.
As previously reported, fans who had the opportunity to catch Phish during their first proper comeback tour got a taste of nine new tunes, when they showcased swinging blues riffs on "Kill Devil Hills," groovy interplays between guitarist Trey Anastasio and pianist Page McConnell during "Ocelot" and the long, winding jam-friendly "Light." Only "I've Been Around" has yet to make its live debut. In March, the band played "Backwards Down the Number Line" at their first Hampton, Va. reunion gigs.
In addition to a CD release, Phish is selling a limited edition "Joy Box," a deluxe package available exclusively on the band's own e-commerce website, Phish Dry Goods. In addition to the "Joy" CD, the box will include a complete second album on CD entitled "Party Time;" a hardcover book; ten different posters, each representing one of the main album's songs; and a DVD full of live performances culled from the summer tour, including tracks from the group's appearances at the Bonnaroo Festival in June and Fenway Park in Boston. While the box will not ship to fans until October - nearly a month after the official CD release date - purchaser will get a free MP3 download of the album as well on September 8.
Phish is also pressing copies of "Joy" on vinyl records.
"I think when we were in the studio I had the best time that I could," Anastasio told Billboard.com about "Joy" earlier this year."Things have gone beyond my wildest expectations and dreams and I feel like been given so many blessings in my life, between my friendship with the guys in the band, our wonderful audience, being able to play this music, and then my family. I just want to stay in that state of gratitude and try to hope that the music that we play is of value to the audience."
As previously reported, Phish is in the midst of planning Festval 8, an epic three day, eight set concert event which will take place at the Coachella Festival site in Indio, Calif. over Halloween weekend.
Here is the track list for "Joy":
"Twenty Years Later"
"Backwards Down the Number Line"
"Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan"
"Kill Devil Falls"
"I've Been Around"
"Time Turns Elastic"