New wave quartet Phantom Isle return with Italo Disco influenced single Whip

Whip by Phantom Isle is out now. Photo by Julia Lucas.Whip by Phantom Isle is out now. Photo by Julia Lucas.
Whip by Phantom Isle is out now. Photo by Julia Lucas.
Born out of a jam session at their Tottenham rehearsal studio last year, Whip follows previous single Mar V.

Northants-born, London-based new-wave outfit Phantom Isle returned with their new single Whip last week.

Another highly danceable single, the track is a natural high-energy follow up to predecessor Mar V which received support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and Radio X.

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Whip has the DNA of 80s Italo Disco and new wave running through it, with a tinge of punk and psychedelia.

“I wrote the lyrics by putting myself back into the mindset of my teenage years,” explains drummer, Sam Thorne.

“It was a very turbulent time for me and my mind became a hotbed of chaotic thoughts and selfish decisions. “This song explores an alternate history that never happened.

“Drum-wise, I was trying to make the song as danceable as possible. Think up-tempo disco crossed with Dare by Gorillaz.

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“On top of that, we added a whole heap of percussion rhythms to push against the driving drum pattern.”

Whip was the product of Phantom Isle jamming at Cargo Rooms rehearsal studio in Tottenham, beginning with keyboard player Joshua Guy playing three synth chords – combining the sounds of 80s electro and early 90s techno.

Describing Phantom Isle as a band with “many faces” in terms of their sound, guitarist and singer Peter Marchant adds, “I feel deep down every track has our personality and our DNA running through it.”

He adds: “The general feel had a Giorgio Moroder / Donna Summer 'I Feel Love' kind of thing going on, so for me that's definitely where some of the vocal influence came from.

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“I think I remember sitting with (bassist) Jonny watching videos of The Smiths not long before, so I think he might've subconsciously lifted some inspiration bass wise from Andy Rourke, going for a very melodic approach.

“I deliberately resisted picking up the guitar as I wanted to be able to run around on stage and go a bit nuts.

“Apart from at the end of the song, there were some crucially important guitar solo duties to take care of there.”

In March, Phantom Isle joined Rolling Thunder and Jack Vs Hotdog representing Northampton at the MaNo Music Festival in Marburg, Germany.

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It was one of the few festivals to take place before the coronavirus led to the shutdown of the live music scene.

During lockdown, like many others, they have played live streams to fans and also raised £700 for Brain Tumour Research.

Besides promoting Mar V and Whip, Phantom Isle have been working on new material – hinting at something “very substantial” for next year.

Reflecting on life during lockdown, Marchant said: “It’s been extremely challenging. As is the case for a lot of bands, a huge proportion of our income is from merch sales and although we've been selling merch online, people are just naturally a lot more inclined to buy merch at gigs.

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“Gigs are also a huge part of how we market this band and to have that stream of promotion just eliminated from the equation makes growing our fanbase that bit tougher.”

Despite the current restrictions on live performance, Phantom Isle are hoping to play a socially distanced gig at the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes before the end of the year and are due to play The Old Blue Last in London on March 24 and at Sidney and Matilda in Sheffield on April 10.

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