Life ends, so make the best of it—it’s an old message, but Phish deliver it with rare and off-putting jubilance on the track “Breath and Burning,” which they shared yesterday, off their forthcoming album Big Boat.
“And what does it matter / it’ll be over soon / our head’s on a platter / so let’s spin in the light of the moon,” sings Trey Anastasio, conveying a grim, if positively framed, sentiment—yet the music of the song is anything but bleak. A boppy organ and guitar riff fills most of the tune and horns soar through the verse breaks.
“I wrote this song on the beach after our three-night run in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico last January,” Anastasio told NPR. “I loved watching the faces of all the people dancing and splashing in the ocean while we played. I kept thinking, ‘This will all end sooner or later, one way or another. So I’m gonna enjoy every last second of it while we’re still here. I’m not gonna wave away the dessert cart on the Titanic.’”
Phish has written a song that is sure to recreate that happy-go-lucky atmosphere in their future live shows. Audiences will be eager to dance to this tune in its extended jam version, which the band premiered on the road this summer. That’s how Phish is meant to be heard anyway, right?
Big Boat will be Phish’s 13th album and is scheduled for release on Oct. 7. Listen to “Breath and Burning” here via NPR.