MASSLOVEP12(1)After 3 long years of toil (with short breaks to do frivolous things like working, childrearing, studying, eating, lifehaving, etc) I am excited to present Phenotype, the final chapter in our *type trilogy. It is a labour of love in every sense of the word, and quite frankly, is a monster.

That 3 year gap in releases is significant: this is the album that broke us. Throughout my career in production, I have seen innumerable groups fall apart because of what can only be described as bullshit band drama. It never occurred to me that our project was susceptible to the same thing. It was.

The specifics of our meltdown are unremarkable, save to say that they were as nuanced, painful, and stupid as any good bullshit band drama can be. What’s more interesting about our story is that we survived.

As much Phenotype destroyed us, it is also the album that put us back together, better than before. I get that taste is subjective, but for us, walking away from material this strong was not possible. These songs became a beacon calling us back, a fire around which we gathered, and ultimately, a cast that held our shattered friendship together while it healed. And now it is a fanfare, heralding our return.

The completion of Phenotype, then, is a triumph of artistry over bullshit band drama, and a testament to the tenacity of our writing relationship. It is mutual recognition of the special magic that happens when we collaborate. The album contains what I feel is some of our best work to date, and I am exceedingly proud of it.

Musically, there’s a lot here that’s new for us, which we hope will delight you. Shut Your Mouth, for example, is a totally acapella track, where every sound used is voice or body generated. Then, marvel with me at the amazing things Lauren is doing with the chorus lyrics of The Call.

We have some World Fusion elements in The Omen, something Lauren has been pushing for since day one, and a fair amount of experimenting all over the shop. Overboard is a personal favourite, and grew out of an exercise where I limited myself to just 2 freeware synths (TAL Noisemaker and T-Force Alpha Plus), and its sonic intensity is driven more by evolving synth parameters than additional sounds. Lauren’s vocal, of course, sidesteps all of that nerdy jargon and blows the lid off it.

We even get a bit socially conscious towards the end, with some heavier stuff like Enemy, which speaks to how we’ve accepted a surveillance state in exchange for some convenience. At least I think that’s what it’s about. I’ve never been completely coherent on the subject. On Rise Up, we’re joined by a gang of friends for a shouty end chorus – extra big thanks to Thunderfeels, 88KOS, Bijou Basil, and The Last Domino for coming through for us. Love you guys.

Last but by no means least, I must thank the incomparable Leroy Croft, who drove five hours to come help me break the deadlock on some of these mixes. Thanks man, there’s no one like you.

So. Phenotype is currently available on BandCamp. In a week or so, it’ll turn up on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and the rest.

Making this album was an adventure. We hope you enjoy listening to it.