Live-looping, indie-pop phenomenon Phia is set to release her new EP The Woman Who Counted the Stars on 29 September via Labelship (EU) / Independent (AUS).
The five tracks are brimming with layers of glitter and grit, and herald the arrival of a bold new sound for the Melbourne-born singer-songwriter. Pulsing, distorted drums and intergalactic juno synths collide with fuzz guitar and vintage casio keyboards, as Phia’s longtime production collaborator Joshua Teicher realizes a sonic vision that manages to be both lush, raw, and emotionally affecting. Phia’s effortlessly charismatic, crystal-clear vocal soars.
Taking inspiration from the lives of female pioneers of science and enterprise, Phia began writing over the Melbourne summer, looking outwards as much as inwards for inspiration.
“Late last year Björk released a viral Facebook post about the criticism she and other female artists face when their subject matter departs from boyfriends and love songs towards atoms, galaxies or activism. I was enraged and also inspired and the songs just started to come.”
What eventuated is Phia’s most definitive work to date, with the songs weaving their way masterfully from caves under the Earth right up into the cosmos.
The Woman Who Counted the Stars is a rapid fire follow up to her debut album The Ocean of Everything, which was recorded in her then-home of Berlin and mixed in New York by Eli Crews (Tune-Yards; Deerhoof; Dear Reader). Double J hailed the album as “bright, catchy as hell pop”, with Dom Alessio (Triple J) declaring it “a bundle of joy.
The new EP encapsulates Phia’s creative journey over the last few years – from an adventurous young woman living abroad in a foreign city, cycling through the streets of Berlin to front-bar gigs with her loop pedal and kalimba in the basket, to a confident band leader performing at some of Europe’s premiere festivals, Melt, Fusion and Berlin Festival.
Now she offers up what’s next, a sparkling constellation of songs showcasing her powerful lyricism and musicality.
“Heartstrings' is bright, catchy as hell pop done with absolute surety from Phia." Double J
“[Heartstrings] is a bundle of joy.” Dom Alessio, Triple J
"Charming as hell." Gen Fricker, Triple J
- Rolling Stone Magazine (Germany) has “...great expectations for Phia’s debut album”.
- Featured in Artrocker’s (UK) top 6 acts of Focus Wales 2015. “International pick is Phia aka Sophia Exiner who comes from Melbourne (AUS) via Berlin. A live- looping frenzy of percussive hands, vocal beauty and the oddity that is the African kalimba. A lovely and clearly a very exportable proposition. From Later with Jools to the Festival Hall, it is not difficult to imagine Phia playing them all.”
- “Sophia Exiner is one of the most underrated of Australia's musical exports. Under her stage name Phia, Exiner creates lush, hypnotic pop music with beatboxing, a loop-pedal, a kalimba and silky smooth vocals reminiscent of Regina Spektor. Her latest single "Do You Ever?" is a perfect representation of her skills: a bouncy, explosive song about teenage love and "kissing in-between class," laden with the sorts of jerky beats and lush vocals that are bound to make it a hit." IndieShuffle (2013)
- “...Probably the most appealing thing Phia does on “Do You Ever?” is the way she keeps her cadence & pitch in a constant state of flux. Moving from quirky falsettos, deeper tones and back to her normal singing voice, it’s clear that keeping her music in the normal realm of what pop music is supposed to sound like, just isn’t in the cards for Phia. It’s for this simple reason why we think “Do You Ever?” will definitely catch on with listeners.” Hilly Dilly (2013)
- Sounds Australia: “Phia has been getting a lot of attention here in Berlin... and the room is currently 100% spellbound with her right now.”
- Named a highlight of the 2016 Sydney Road Street Party by The Age.
- Appearance on national television in Australia 2014 (Spicks & Specks) and Germany 2013 (TV Noir)
- Invited to Fusion Festival (Germany) 3 years in a row (2013, 2014, 2015)
- Berlin Festival 2015 (GER)
- Melt Festival 2015 (GER)
- Karneval der Kulturen 2015 (GER)
- Fete De La Musique 2015 (GER)
- First We Take Berlin 2014 (GER)
- Berlin Music Week 2013 (GER)
- Warsaw Music Week 2013 (POL)
- Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2011 (AUS)
For EU management contact Kai-Uwe Müller at firstname.lastname@example.org,
For Australian and other inquiries contact Phia at email@example.com