Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder for the members of Phish. The group, which will end a two-year hiatus with a New Year’s Eve concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, has written enough new material during recent rehearsals to fill a new studio album. The set, “Round Room,” was recorded over the course of four days in October with producer Bryce Goggin and will be released Dec. 10 by Elektra.
The 12-track “Round Room” clocks in “at over 70 minutes,” according to the band’s official Web site. Fans who pre-order the set from the Phish Web site will be entered into a contest to win a pair of tickets to one of the group’s post New Year’s shows in Hampton, Va.
Those performances will precede “a run of dates in the second half of February that spans both coasts,” the site announced.
The new album will be Phish’s first studio set since 2000’s “Farmhouse,” which debuted at No. 12 on The Billboard 200. Since the band went on hiatus on the fall of that year, members have embarked on a variety of side projects: guitarist Trey Anastasio recorded a solo album and a separate set with the Police’s Stewart Copeland and Primus’ Les Claypool in Oysterhead; bassist Mike Gordon recorded a collaborative album with guitarist Leo Kottke; keyboardist Page McConnell recorded a set with the trio Vida Blue; and drummer John Fishman recorded and toured with his group Pork Tornado.
Phish has also released a host of live albums spanning complete shows from throughout its career, the next four volumes of which are due in stores today (Oct. 29) via Elektra. A DVD, “Live in Vegas,” is due Nov. 12 from the label.
Here is the track list for “Round Room”:
“Pebbles and Marbles”
“Anything But Me”
“All of These Dreams”
“Walls of the Cave”