Phonotonal

Music

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Phonotonal champions new and obscure music. We often single reviews, EP reviews, and album reviews featuring unsigned and independent bands. A bit less often, we get out of the office to do interviews and live music reviews.

We occasionally include rare old material in our Attic Finds series. We are working with some amazing bands whose music pre-dates streaming (1980-2005) as we want to bring their music to a new audience that their cassettes and CDs never reached.

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

With a rich acoustic guitar at the heart and just a sprinkle of an electric lead guitar, this is a real cut-down single from Old Neon. There’s enough ambiguity in this song that most listers are going to view the lyrics through their own lens of experience. The intention feels like a break-up song, where […]

  1. Music
  2. Live Reviews

With the King Tut’s stage shining black with surface water, a general moist haze, and the band opting for sweaters, Beabadoobee still brought the sunshine to TRNSMT. Always one to look on the positive side of the grey clouds, the summer daylight was suppressed to make the stage and lighting pop dramatically. The setlist started […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

If ever there was a single that rolls together a lot of content, it’s ‘Part of the Band’ from The 1975. There really is a great deal to unpack and re-assemble, so we’d better just get started. It all begins with cello and Matty Healy’s voice. Layers of strings join the ensemble of what has […]

  1. Music
  2. Album Reviews

Describing themselves as an emogaze band from Brighton, Harker pretty much deliver on this promise with Axiom. In case you haven’t heard of it before, it turns out that emogaze refers to sonically intense songs with sharp lyrics and inventive switches. With a driving stomp, ‘The Beat Must Die’ has a chaotic fuzz to its […]

  1. Music
  2. Album Reviews

Providing a solid edifice of post-grunge richness, Curbwire’s eponymous long player is packed with really strong elements. When you listen to a full album, you’re always looking out for the gems that stand out from the other material, but I can honestly say that there is no gold-plating here, it’s solid gold from top to […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

If you were at or watched Glastonbury Festival 2022 on TV, you already know because you’ve been introduced. We’re introducing Holly to the rest of you here because if you can’t ever get enough of music that’s indie rock, synth, and pop combined, you just may be reading the right article. So, let’s talk about ‘Scarlett’ from her EP called The Walls Are Way Too Thin, shall we?

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

Bitters‘ latest single, ‘Loving Me’, provides a gentler take on their sound. Lighter and more plaintive than ‘Stole Your Car’, but still a worthy and shimmering heatwave of a release. The guitar provides a tuneful hook to lead us in, with Mills’ vocal providing a rich and warm tone. The verse is almost acoustic, the […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

If you’ve seen Pale Waves live this year, the opening riff of ‘Jealousy’ is going to be enough to trigger those hairs on the back of your arms. This is a song that bumps along in the verse and unleashes a big smooth feel in the chorus. Yes, this is a good single. The single […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

With a Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoken intro, Lylyth’s ‘Fight Back’ is an angry and direct response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, part of a dramatic backslide in progress in the country that we previously looked to for leadership and direction. ‘Fight Back’ has roots in X-Ray Spex (minus the […]

  1. Music
  2. Album Reviews

Homesick is the second long-player from Sea Girls. Like many recent albums, it was shaped by the lock-down. Based in London, the band found themselves in their old hometowns thinking about mortality and re-living old memories. The song was written and recorded remotely, with tracks being transferred from the UK to America and back during […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

It seems like only 21 minutes ago that the tap was dripping, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip… though this assumes that Beabadoobee is snuggling up on the same Saturday night referred to by Smith, Tolhurst, and Dempsey¹. Though, thinking about it, that was in 1979, a full 21 years before Beabadoobee was born. […]

  1. Music

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a non-profit organization representing the rights and interests of UK artists has launched a new public database called the 100% Venues Directory. The directory lists music venues that don’t take a cut from merch sales at the venue. The move comes after a string of bands noted that some venues […]

  1. Music
  2. Album Reviews

When Beabadoobee released her Space Cadet EP in 2019, we hadn’t developed our sophisticated release alerting and scheduling reminder tool to ensure we didn’t miss follow-ups. This is why we have the delayed pleasure of finding Fake It Flowers has been released and is shimmering with the astronomical illuminations of a galaxy of great songs. […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

What a slick and driven song Blind Channel have dropped with ‘Don’t Fix Me’! Their signature sound is firing on all cylinders, with neat flips between the distinctive sections of the song. The vocal-cram verse collides with a melodic pre-chorus before punching through with the huge ‘Don’t Fix Me’ cry. There are smart moments in […]

  1. Music
  2. Single Reviews

If there was a resurgence of the werewolf genre in the movie theatres – another wave of Underworld or, perhaps, a new city ripe for exploration by a lycanthrope of American origin – Pixies would certainly be joining The Waterboys on the soundtrack with ‘There’s a Moon On’. The song starts with a howling guitar […]