The album begins in an ebullient mood with Bad Sugar, a swirling organ making way for the band’s trademark swooning guitar, and Phillips’ clever wordplay to the fore – “Even bad sugar makes bitter taste sweet.”
Overall ‘Snow Bound’ reveals a strong run of pop songs which contains a fizzy excitement that rarely abates across its 10 tracks, with only brief sojourns into quieter reflection, as on Deep Belief.
Recorded in only three weeks, such speed is not evident in the quality of the material, the album is fresh and delightful with a positivity which belies Phillips past difficulties and his lyrical concerns which variously canvas issues of living and mortality, fake news and wide-ranging personal politics.
Lead single Lord of All I Survey must surely stand firmly in the band’s oeuvre as an instant classic, encapsulating all of their glorious capabilities within its short 2.58min runtime. ‘Snow Bound’ is a captivating treasure chest and further proof that Phillips should be enshrined as a national taonga.