Days before Phish is set to embark on their 2009 summer reunion tour, the jam-band released “Time Turns Elastic” yesterday (May 26) on iTunes. The track is taken from a forthcoming, untitled album due July 28 that sees the band reteaming with famed producer Steve Lillywhite, who they previously worked with on 1996’s “Billy Breathes.”
Unconfirmed Internet rumors suggest a few possible titles: “Party Time” and “Light (Yellow).” Bassist Mike Gordon also said via his hotline that one of the original, shortlisted titles was “The Best Fucking Phish Album Ever!” Gordon said the title reflects “the intention” the band had for the album and adds that he thinks the new record is “pretty slammin’.”
The release of “Time Turns Elastic” also marks the band’s first recorded output since 2004’s “Undermind” and will come out on their own JEMP Records, which since 2005 has served as an archival, live release label. While the song is yet to be properly played in a live setting as Phish, lead guitarist Trey Anastasio has been exploring it in another context.
“Time Turns Elastic” was co-written by Anastasio with composer Don Hart, and the two have performed it with a classical orchestra on September 27, 2008 in Nashville and in Baltimore last week (May 21). An orchestral version of “Time Turns Elastic” that features Anastasio and the Northwest Sinfonia is due June 9 and is available for pre-order on the Phish website.
After nearly five years apart, the band returned to the stage at the Hampton Coliseum in early March 2009, when they debuted another new song, “Backwards Down The Number Line.” Next week marks Phish’s first formal tour since 2004. The band will kick off the trek at Fenway Park this Sunday (May 31) and have scheduled multiple night runs throughout the summer at outdoor venues like Jones Beach, Red Rocks, Alpine Valley, the Gorge, and headlining two nights of Bonnaroo.