Phonotonal

Phonotonal - Latest Articles

  1. Music
  2. EP Reviews

Blending guitar fuzz and pop synth, Sophie Powers’ Red in Revenge is a very nearly album-length hyperpop record with seven insanely catchy tracks. If you haven’t come across hyperpop, it is a spin-out from the genre-bending trend that merged metal with sweet-pop to create high-contrast tracks that were visceral and candy-coated all at once. In […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Cassyette takes on Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’, slowing things down and deploying a great emotive rock vocal to transform the song from its original bouncy pop form into a real heart-wrenching ballad. Accompanied by a crunchy guitar, this is a stripped-back performance that lets Cassyette’s vocal really shine. As the song approaches the end […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Things are gearing up for Lauran Hibberd’s Garageband Superstar, and ‘That Was a Joke’ is one more reason (on top of ‘I’m Insecure’, ‘Step Mum’, and ‘Still Running (5k)’) to jiggle excitedly in anticipation. The song has instant Hibberd pop-quirk in the intro, a stuttering verse, a funky pre-chorus, and a chorus that flows like […]

  1. Music
  2. Album Reviews

Wowzers. Strap yourselves in for this one because Pale Waves have made a really special album. Unwanted is sonically consistent while providing a real biscuit selection of delightful variety. There are no garibaldis here (you might like ’em, but they have a woeful 21% approval rating – even Fig Rolls rank higher and we’re not […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Pushed along with The Four Season’s ‘Beggin’ piano chord progression and drum beat, Yeah Yeah Yeahs new single ‘Burning’ has orchestral overtones. Even the vocal has a big band room feel on this track. Lyrically, things are abstract (though the song was inspired by Karen O setting fire to her New York home with an […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Following Pixies’ recent single ‘There’s a Moon On’, this new single offers another look inside their forthcoming album, Doggerel. Let’s look at the video, the song, and its meaning. Musically, a brief acoustic intro is quickly joined by a warm guitar run with just a hint of overdriven chords beneath. It captures a dark theatricality […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Just like with ‘God is in the TV’, Northern Gloom’s substantial sound in their latest single immediately arrests your attention. The opening riff slams a thick mix of tone down… and the scene is very much set. The intro gives way to a dream-like verse, haunting vocals with more space in the sound – though […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

With a chugging Jimmy Eat World instant entry to the verse, the skin is already tingling for this new single from Old Neon. ‘Barely Alive’ is a great big anthem and I love it. We already know this band is top-notch in all departments and this is further proof. Great big drums, guitars that transform […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Long-time Suede fans are going to lap this song up, but after ‘She Still Leads Me On’ this new single will also cement new folks into the Suede fanclub, I’m sure. The first verse has almost punk vibes, a dark twisting thread with a stomping beat and a Mick Jones guitar flavour that is literally […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

The latest single from Willow, and the second to be released from forthcoming LP <COPINGMECHANISM> after ‘<maybe> it’s my fault’, we have a sexually charged love-at-first-sight song in ‘hover like a GODDESS’. The basic theme is spotting someone, being instantly in love, and wanting to quickly get into the nearest bathroom or bedroom to get […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

With a saxophone-heavy introduction, the sway of ‘Happiness’ will be more familiar to early fans than much of the more recent material, with distant echoes of ‘Heart Out’. It still participates in the onwards march of The 1975’s sound. The song is beat-driven and features bass runs and intricate guitars, with the saxophone (supplied by […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Thick and punchy, ‘More Than Machines’ is a great way to tell people you are back on the scene. If you’ve lost touch with Bush, we might need to offer some reminders along the way… but let’s enjoy the new single a bit first. Gavin Rossdale is quick to show us that his vocal still […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

With a loose beat and lo-fi fuzz, ‘Human Condition’ gives Pretty Sick the odd accolade of joining Chris de Burgh in rhyming dance with romance. This is the only trait this song shares with the famous ballad. After a string-sliding introduction, the bass plots a course with the guitars scuzzing over the top. The vocal […]

  1. Words
  2. Metaphysical Fiction Reviews

Having impressed everyone with the atmospheric novel, Mexican Gothic, we are now treated to a combination of science fiction and romance in Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest novel The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. The book quickly transports you to Yucatán, to a rancho occupied by the mysterious Doctor Moreau. The story is told mostly through his daughter, […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

With a folksy summer feel, ‘The Hard Way’ is a song with layers of surprises. The initial gentle acoustic swing is only half the story. Please note the subject matter of this song may trigger some readers as there are themes of bullying and suicide. Musically, the sweet melodic sway of the first part of […]