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Polyphia go acoustic on their first new song in three years, Playing God

Scott LePage and Tim Henson playing in Polyphia's Playing God music video
(Image credit: Polyphia/YouTube)

Polyphia – the progressive instrumental outfit headed up by electric guitar virtuoso Tim Henson – have released Playing God, which marks their first new material in three years.

It’s been a long wait for new Polyphia material, but Henson and his bandmates – guitarist Scott LePage, bass player Clay Gober and drummer Clay Aeschliman – have made sure it’s been worth it. 

Opting for a new sonic direction, the band serve up a acoustic guitar-driven, rock-infused nuevo flamenco treat, which Henson and LePage deliver via the fretboards of their custom, soundhole-less Ibanez Talman nylon-strings.

Despite the lack of electric guitars, Playing God is overloaded with Polyphia’s usual six-string acrobatics, and boasts a healthy helping of percussive right-hand strums, sultry harmonic-tinged melodies and an abundance of surgically precise lead lines.

For further stylistic experimentation, the quartet also include a bossa nova-esque, extended chord-loaded breakdown that precedes the none-more-Polyphia finale, which in turn sees Henson and LePage double down on their sublime six-string interplay.

The track itself was produced by both Henson and LePage, as well as Judge, whose credits include Migos & Marshmello, Blackbear and Young Thugs. Additional production was provided by Y2K and Johan Lenox.

Playing God is the band’s first standalone single since 2019’s Inferno, which followed the Lewis Grant-featuring Look But Don’t Touch. The year before, Polyphia dropped their third studio LP, New Levels New Devils, which featured cult favorite, G.O.A.T.

Polyphia’s debut effort, Muse, arrived in 2014, and was followed by Renaissance in 2016. Given the four year gap between Renaissance and New Levels New Devils, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume another new Polyphia album may be on the way in the near-future.

Polyphia Playing God artwork

(Image credit: Press)

This is all speculation, though, and no official word has been released on whether Playing God will be followed by a full-length album, or if it will remain a standalone single.

Accompanying the release of Playing God is news that Polyphia will be embarking on their first-ever headlining tour of North America later this year. Set to commence July 28 at the House of Blues in Houston, Texas, the tour will conclude with a return to Texas on September 3 at Come and Take It Live.

Throughout the 28-date stint, Polyphia will also visit New York, New Orleans, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle and more.

A full list of tour dates can be found on Polyphia’s official website.

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Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.