Published Feb 10, 2016Though her music career traces back nearly 30 years, Dean & Britta/Luna member Britta Phillips is only now finally getting ready to release her debut solo album. A record four years in the making, her Luck or Magic arrives April 29 via Double Feature Records.
Phillips has actively been working with husband and Luna/Galaxie 500 songwriter Dean Wareham since 2003 as Dean & Britta, but a press release explains that plans for a solo album began in 2012. Phillips had first set to work on the collection with electronic music figure Scott Hardkiss, with the two working on material over the course of a year. Sadly, and suddenly, Hardkiss passed away in his sleep in 2013.
Phillips would shelve the project temporarily and join forces with Wareham on the score to Noah Baumbach's Mistress America before working on the solo album again from her Los Angeles home. She later reached out to DFA house engineer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem, the Juan Maclean) to complete the record.
"It was really hard to return to the record I had started with Scott. He was such a sweet and generous friend and champion of mine. I was crushed," Phillips explained in a statement.
The original sessions were prepped with inspiration from Sly & the Family Stone, Glass Candy, Kraftwerk, Lana Del Rey, Nancy Sinatra, Air and more. Broucek came in and helped Phillips re-edit the existing material, add live drums to the recordings and re-record vocals.
A mix of five originals and five covers, the set has Phillips exploring "love and desire" through various characters. For the cover songs, Phillips took on such tracks as the Cars' "Drive," Beach Boy Dennis Wilson's "Fallin' in Love" and Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."
"I suppose the songs deal with love and desire through different personas — from coy to cocky, from complete control to total surrender, at times within the same song," Phillips said. "I wanted the album to be both earthy and dreamy, and to capture the feel of a few decades without sounding like any particular one."
The first song to be released from Luck or Magic is "One Fine Summer Morning," originally done by Evie Sands. You'll find a stream of the track below courtesy of Stereogum. There, you'll also find the tracklisting info.
Luck or Magic:
2. Do It Last
3. One Fine Summer Morning (Evie Sands)
4. Million Dollar Doll
5. Drive (The Cars)
6. Fallin' In Love (Dennis Wilson)
7. Luck or Magic
8. Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
9. Wrap Your Arms Around Me (ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog)
10. Ingrid Superstar