Joel R L Phelps & The Downer Trio – Gala

  • DAMNABLY028 – Joel R L Phelps & The Downer Trio – Gala
Artist: Joel R. L. Phelps & The Downer Trio
Title: Gala

Release Date: 4th November 2013
Catalogue No.: DAMNABLY028
Format: [CD/DL]

1. The Nashville Sound
2. The Great Falls
3. So You’ve Decided
4. Blinding Light
5. Hold Fast
6. Gala
7. Goldentown
8. Universilty Gal
9. Exiting The Garden
10.Wind On Her Face
11.Thank You And Goodbye
12.Ursus (UK Bonus Track)
13.Sleepers Awake (UK Bonus Track)

The first new album from Joel RL Phelps & The Downer Trio since 2004′s ‘Customs’. Joel, guitarist/bassist Robert Mercer & drummer William Herzog have returned with what might be their most powerful work to date. There are very few songwriters on this continent that can rival the former Silkworm guitarist/vocalist Phelps, and his lyrical & instrumental prowess is as keen as ever.

Released by Damnably in Europe
Released by 12XU in US (Vinyl)
Released by Triple Crown Audio Recordings in Canada


“Joel RL Phelps is indie rock’s best kept secret” The A.V. Club
a very welcome returnGideon Coe BBC 6Music
“...impressive blend of brooding post-punk, plaintive folk-rock and Crazy Horse guitar rock.” Don Yates KEXP Radio
Album of The WeekGary Wilcox
Morlands Radio

“I want a way to break that Nashville sound,” Phelps sings on Gala’s lead off track, and though he can’t break that mold for everyone, there’s no danger of the Downer Trio lazily aping an aesthetic. Phelps’s fuzzy guitar is more gristly than meaty on this loud/quiet/loud track, and his voice is as oddly endearing as ever, resembling Stephen Malkmus or Jeff Mangum in the way he goes from a seemingly disengaged baritone to a cracked, spine-tingling yelp. “Put some shoulder in it, boys,” he implores, and the band complies.” Joel Oliphant Pitchfork

“This is a magnificent return from Joel Phelps…It’s adult music for the modern ‘indie’ listener.” Muddy Anti-Pitchfork

“GALA, an album that ranks with his finest work…is among the best records of the past quarter century” Carl A. Zimring

“the most direct and rock-like work since his contributions to Silkworm.” Dusted

“it’s crushingly sad and an absolute corker” Collective Zine
Radio play also on Bob Harris (Gideon Coe sitting in) BBC Radio 2,Duyster on Studio Brussel Radio, Varity Mix on KEXP, Midday Show KEXP, Jon Solomon WPRB, Ken Katkin’s Trashflow & Ally Gourley’s Art School Dancing on Castle FM.
Vish Khanna Interview with Joel RL Phelps on Kreative Kontrol here

“Regardless of tempo or tone, Gala is a fine return to the scene for Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio. In fact, Gala seems to be the natural extension of 2004 release Customs/Traditions. One would be tempted to claim Gala is a return to form, but truth be told, while Joel RL Phelps has lain fallow over the past decade, he doesn’t appear to have lost a step.” 7/10 Popmatters

“Remarkably creative and quirky Gala again . Phelps sings his lungs out in soft songs like ‘So You’ve Decided ” and especially in the bangers as” Thank You and Goodnight ” , which very overly hard and soft leaves popping one another. Of unrest that you need a little love and so is the fact that you will spit in your face as a listener and roar in your ears . Slightly depressed , this record , but fascinating.” kindamuzik (NL)

“There’s a story being told, but it’s also a direct question to the listener. Is your blood still pumping or have you given up? With Gala, Phelps answer is quite clear.” The Agit Reader