Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to Northampton (UK) artist, Phantom Isle, and their latest single, 2001 – just released on November 21 2022.

2001 is the devastating story of the loss of a school friend of both band members Peter Marchant and Joshua Guy in 2001, echoing the experience the band had when fellow member Matt Marchant passed in 2019. The song is a journey of trying to reconcile the past and come to terms with their grief. It is a fitting tribute.

Assaulting your ears with mid-80s electronic sounds, the song starts powerfully. There are lots of interesting stereo electronic effects throughout the track, and if you were a mid-80s disco fan or an early 90s techno raver, then this track will most definitely have some appeal.

The dynamic soundscape of 2001 is an interesting one. With plenty of rise and fall and lots of stops and starts to maintain the listener’s interest, 2001 still manages to enthral the listener whilst, for the most part, remaining on one chord.

The layered vocals that come in about mid-way through the track give it an almost anthemic feel and make you want to sing along. The guitar solo towards the end sits nicely and gives the song a whole extra dimension. We liked the vocal calls in the background of the solo.

2001, feels a little Pet Shop Boys and definitely has a real mid-80s feel, although there are some definite nods to the early 90s here too. Vocally, we were very impressed, particularly with the superb control in the falsetto during the breakdown section. Imagine, if you will, Bono joining forces with Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

From a production perspective, we think a hi-pass filter at 35Hz and a small boost around 65Hz would give the low end a little more clarity and add some extra punch to the ‘four-on-the-floor’ style kick drum. To our ears, the top end may be slightly too bright creating the occasional ‘brittle’ sound so a cut around 10kHz may balance it out a little more.

For fans of mid-80s to early 90s electronic music, 2001 from Phantom Isle is an absolute must, and a very fitting tribute to the band’s lost friend. We’re looking forward to hearing more!