Alternative five piece Phoria have released their much anticipated debut album Volition. An eleven song suite that simultaneously reflects on the band's beginnings and process while laying the foundation for future sounds. We open on a 2015 single ('Melatonin') and a 2014 EP cut ('Red'). The first is a stirring soundscape that has the celestial properties of The War On Drugs with the electronic momentum of Jon Hopkins and M83 sauntering between rumbling artificial tones and gentler, organic guitar notes. 'Red' brings sense to the Sigur Rós comparisons as Trewin Howard's vocal melds harmoniously with every elemental layer of this expansive track. The warm piano keys, artificial voiceover, and luxuriously composed strings balance each other spectacularly and create an altogether engaging six minutes of music.

For those fans who have been patiently awaiting this record there is new and original music here presented in a suite of sorts as 'Mass' and 'Loss' bookend a glorious vocal interlude 'By The Salt' offering ethereal interruption from the artificially enhanced. The first part of this trilogy is a looped R&B-tinged number that evokes thoughts of James Blake's eponymous debut. We are lead along its electronic backbone to a poignant crescendo of synth, piano, and vocal layering. 'Loss' is dramatic, expansive and altogether gorgeous likened to an arctic landscape, impossibly big yet moving at a pace best described as glacial. A symphonic arrangement that would have found a home on Vulnicura gives way courteously to an Aphex Twin 'Windowlicker' breakdown before the string led emotion stirs again and lifts us to dizzying new heights, stood atop the same frozen field looking across the fjords in complete awe.

2016 single 'Evolve' anchors the album nicely with pop sensibilities and a Metronomy flavour demonstrating the abilities of this band and their progression as a unit complete with sophisticated flourishes of recorded dialogue and an off centre guitar hook. Their breakout single of sorts, 'Emanate', sounds just as curiously brooding as when we first heard it in 2014, immediately captivated by the sparseness of the production, the introspective delivery, and the refined approach to the genre. The reclusive first three minutes enhance its momentous outro even more so.

The pace and style of Volition matches the expectation of its creation; each track has been well considered and older cuts have been carefully selected in order to enhance the LP as an entity of work. Howard's vocal has the breathy qualities of Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Elena Tonra making this gigantic album feel effortlessly intimate. New tracks 'Yourself Still' and 'Loss' demonstrate a band constantly challenging themselves, the former marking a triumphant career apogee. The connections and shared experiences of the band members feed into its design and creation, there is a cohesion in sound and vision with each element working in blissful accord.