Swallowed by the New takes on life’s difficult transitions and delivers some of the Phillips’ most vulnerable songs. “I made this album during the dissolution of a 23 year marriage, Phillips says. “A major chapter of my life was coming to a close, and I discovered early on that I had to work hard to get through the transition with compassion and clarity. These songs were a big part of that process.”
The album was recorded in May of 2015 with producer/bass player Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams), Jay Bellerose (drums), Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Ruby Amanfu (vocals). The sparse arrangements are centered on Phillips’ vocals and acoustic guitar.
Shimmering electric guitar accents drift through a curtain of sighing strings on Go, a ballad that bids a poignant farewell to a lover at the end of a relationship.
His acoustic duo tour to support Swallowed by the New started in October and will continue through the spring of 2017. “I enjoy the spontaneity of acoustic performance, where I can take the show wherever it needs to go and follow the lead of an audience instead of following a set list. There’s more talking, more stories, and more of a loose feel. The subject matter is on the serious side, but I feel like the perspective is ultimately positive. Life is about changes, no matter how we may try and pretend otherwise. This album is all about learning how to face change.”