In 1995, David Bazan formed the Seattle-based band Pedro The Lion. Over the next decade, the band developed a reputation, exploring thorny issues like depression and Bazan’s conflicted relationship with his Christian faith, doing it through burly and contemplative indie rock. they released four albums before Bazan ended Pedro The Lion in 2006. And now they’re back with a new one.
A Pedro The Lion reunion is sort of a funny thing. Bazan was the band’s only permanent member, and after he ended the band, he released six solo albums under his own name. He also put out music with his projects Headphones and Lo Tom. In 2007, Bazan announced that he was resuscitating Pedro The Lion, but it’s less a band reunion and more a return to an old alias, though it’s once again being presented as a band. Anyway, Pedro The Lion are about to release the new album Phoenix, their first since 2004’s Achilles Heel.
Bazan says that Phoenix is the first of five planned albums, all of them based on places where he lives while growing up. If he follows through on that, the second iteration of Pedro The Lion will be more productive than the first. And Phoenix really does tap into that old Pedro sound, giving a tangled-but-comforting backdrop for Bazan’s lyrical lacerations. We’ve posted the early tracks “Yellow Bike,” “Model Homes,” and “Quietest Friend,” and now you can stream the full thing at NPR.
Phoenix is out 1/18 on Polyvinyl.