THE PRESS RELEASE: “Sigma Oasis came to be during the first week of November 2019, but it wasn’t planned that way at all. We were headed up to The Barn to rehearse for our fall tour and ended up discussing this batch of relatively recent songs that we were particularly proud of and always wished we had recorded, but hadn’t had a chance to yet. Trey suggested calling up Vance Powell as he mixed and engineered Ghosts Of The Forest. Vance was very familiar with the space and the console so we set up the gear with no room dividers, no click tracks. Nothing. Just like a Phish show. Open space. We played for a couple days. We just played a bunch of songs — very quickly, a few takes, very organic, natural, live, honest. We had the best time. When we were done, our photographer Rene came up and asked us to come out on the porch and snap a photo. It took about two minutes. And that’s the album cover — a snapshot of our band at that point in time. When we recorded the album, we didn’t plan to release it this way. But today, because of the environment we’re all in, it just feels right. We don’t know the next time that we’re all going to be able to be together. This is an opportunity to have a moment where the Phish community can share something despite being physically separated. The last line of the chorus of Sigma Oasis sums up this point — There’s no place to get. There’s nothing to achieve. There’s no place to be. We’re here. Right here, right now is as good as it gets. “You’re already there.” It’s a content state of mind. You’re just completely in the moment. “You’re already there.” You already have everything you need. Sigma Oasis. It aligns with where we are in our career and as friends and musicians. There’s a joy to the playing. We’re not clamoring to make it. Make what? We’re already there! Sigma Oasis.”
MY TWO CENTS: Phish phans might already be familiar with some of these songs, since Trey Anastasio and co. have performed them all at one time or another over the past decade. Either way, these relaxed, flowing performances make this surprise album a warm, welcoming affair — while lyrics about taking off your mask, living in this crazy world, and “the days that are met with loneliness” are nothing if not timely. So if you’re looking for an album to be cooped up for the next little while, you could do worse.