It was only a couple years ago that Heidi Phillips and her band Abileen recorded a full-length album only to break up as it reached completion. Take It All Back has since seen some hand-to-hand distribution, but much of Phillips' best work has remained largely unheard.
That will hopefully change this year, as Phillips returns to local stages with a new band composed of former Abileenians Jeff McGinness (drums) and Danny Krause (formerly on bass, now on guitar) as well as Sunshine Destroyers bassist Calandra Ysquierdo.
"I'm playing out under my name so I can play whatever I feel like playing," says Phillips, a former co-songwriter for Kansas City alt-rockers Frogpond. "I feel like I've got a large enough catalog that I don't want to have to redefine myself anymore. I want to look at my body of work as a whole and embrace all those creative times."
That means Phillips will be playing Frogpond songs, such as these two from the Art Alexakis-produced Count to Ten album.
Damn, those gals should have been at least as big as Hole and Throwing Muses. Fie on you, fickle industry!
For her part, Phillips is still intent on composing populist, no-bullshit rock music.
"I'm trying to keep it more upbeat, straight-forward, melodic, fun," Phillips says. "Not that Abileen was experimental. We all go through phases, but I wrote all those songs so I'd like to have them around. Plus, if anybody remembers those old Frogpond songs, maybe they'll come out."
Come out we will on February 20 when Phillips and her band play the Czar Bar with Animals with Armour (Phillips plays guitar) and the Sunshine Destroyers.
In the meantime, dig on these Abileen songs from the Take It All Back sessions.
-- Richard Gintowt