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Phony Ppl, 'been away.'

Phony Ppl always greets listeners with open arms — serenading them with a warm blend of R&B, jazz and hip-hop sounds. On "been away.," off its newest album Euphonyus, the Brooklyn-based band joins strings and the piano. A swooning, melodic force anchors the song without overwhelming it; drumbeats hold an adagio pace steady, while bass guitar quietly strengthens the track's rhythmic pulse.

"Cause it's, it's been more than ten years now / And I'm still here thinking how you should've stayed," lead singer Elbee Thrie pleads, reflecting on the past and what could have been. The song teeters between yearning and regret, but never falls into somber tones. Instead, "been away." magnificently swells, culminating in a sweeping electric guitar solo that marks the song's finale. There are some things you might never get back; go out with a bang anyways.

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Teresa Xie
Teresa Xie is a reporter who specializes in media and culture writing. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied political science and cinema. Outside of NPR, her work can be found in Pitchfork, Vox, Teen Vogue, Bloomberg, Stereogum and other outlets.