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Listen to Britta Phillips’s Debut Solo Album ‘Luck or Magic’

[Wall Street Journal]

The new LP, out April 29, features five originals and five covers

By Mike Ayers

Britta Phillips never saw herself as a solo artist. “I love being in a group,” the Luna bassist says. But over the last four years, she’s quietly been working on her debut album “Luck or Magic,” which premieres below on Speakeasy today.

The 10-song set is a mix of five originals and five covers, including Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” Evie Sands’s “One Fine Summer Morning,” and Dennis Wilson’s “Fallin’ in Love.”

Phillips started working on the album in 2012 with dance music producer Scott Hardkiss – but it was shelved for a bit after he unexpectedly died in his sleep in March 2013. “I didn’t want to think about it for a while,” she says.

But after Phillips received encouragement from Hardkiss’s wife, as well as her husband, Dean Wareham, whom she plays with in Luna and their own band Dean & Britta, she resumed recording over the last two years. Finding time was the hardest part – Phillips and Wareham were busy with tours as well as the score for Noah Baumbach’s 2015 film “Mistress America.”

Phillips says she took an unconventional approach to finishing “Luck or Magic,” where she recorded over her demos with the help of producer Eric Broucek (LCD Soundsystem). “He really made it so it doesn’t sound like a random playlist,” she says.

Phillips will play material from “Luck or Magic” this spring when she heads out with Luna for a run of club dates, essentially serving as the opening act for the group. “The solo creative process is pretty crazy and magical,” she says. “I lose track of time like a kid who’s playing.”

“Luck or Magic” is out April 29 on Double Feature Records. Listen here.