David Bazan has released a wealth of expertly rendered songs over the past 15 years, both under his own name and as a part of projects like Lo Tom and Overseas, but the return of Pedro The Lion, the band that first won him the hearts of existentially troubled indie kids in the early 2000s, has generated a unique buzz. Phoenix, the first LP under the Pedro The Lion moniker since Achilles Heel way back in 2004, is out via Polyvinyl on January 18, and, if you didn't already figure it out after listening to lead single "Yellow Bike," it is a subtle, thoughtful, magnificent thing.
To celebrate the full return of PTL, he brought the band—Erik Walters on guitar and Sean Lane on drums—to NPR for a Tiny Desk Concert, and you can watch the whole thing right here. They played "When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run" from 1998's It's Hard to Find a Friend, the aforementioned "Yellow Bike," and "Kept Secrets" from Bazan's solo 2016 LP Blanco. It's everything you could want from a Bazan-led performance—expanding with his engrossing voice, never hurried, emotionally draining without reaching for easy pressure points. Watch it all, then watch it again, then sit around and wait for Phoenix to drop early next year.
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