Phantom Isle – ‘MAR V’ | Video

phantom isle band by julia lucas
Photo by Julia Lucas

Phantom Isle release new track ‘Mar V’

‘MAR V’ is the newest single from Phantom Isle and, like previous releases, is as hypnotic as ever. However, where ‘MAR V’ differs from Phantom Isle’s existing discography lies within its grittier, moody edge.

Featuring an addictive melody bursting with mesmerising synths, and driven by a series of hefty guitar sounds, ‘MAR V’ is all about maximum production. What begins as a gentle, almost glitchy pulse gradually acquires momentum and forms the foundation for thundering drums and a lulling bass. Crescendoing into a propulsive climax at around one and a half minutes in, the slow rise of the melody creates a sense of anticipation that Phantom Isle successfully grab onto with conviction.

Despite the song’s high danceability factor, the track is one of two halves. Behind the glossy art-pop meets 70s rock sound, the lyrics tap into a more melancholy set of emotions. Singing how “I’m here alone now, heaven knows how this will go”, Phantom Isle draw attention to the modern loneliness epidemic – an issue taking on a new meaning given the current climate.

In comparison to the energetic rush of the song’s build and release structure, the vocals are softer, almost fading into the track’s extravagance. By placing emphasis on the high-octane melody, the muting of the vocals serves to highlight the emotional anguish behind the lyrics. It is as if the band are inviting you to lose yourself to the music. Whether this sentiment is intentional or not, the foregrounding of the lively tempo reflects today’s culture in which we create a positive façade, concealing any inner turmoil. 

Overall, with its entrancing yet grungy tone and effortless anthemic drive makes ‘MAR V’ unquestionably suited to being performed live. Alas, whilst venues remain closed and festivals cancelled, I for one will be turning up the volume and holding a party for one. It’ll be worth the wait.

Words by Lucy Robinson

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