In the sleepy college town of Eau Claire, Wis., a folk hero has emerged in Justin Vernon— the bearded, pleasantly helium-voiced singer-songwriter who, in 2007, retreated to a cabin in the woods to record songs under the name Bon Iver. Justin’s April Base Studios has served as an incubator for the state’s emerging indie music scene, including Phox, a six-piece indie pop group from Baraboo whose self-titled debut is out now and available to request for play on WORT. Despite a growing profile and their home state’s reputation as a harbinger of hipster culture (see: Pabst Blue Ribbon, artisanal cheese, taxidermy), the musicians insist that what makes them distinctly Wisconsin is their obliviousness to being cool. “A lot of us were in the marching band,” Phox frontwoman Monica Martin says. “It’s sort of a rite of passage.”
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