“Still Time” by Phantom Isle falls into the most decadent category of synth rock. Yes, the ethereal, keyboard-driven atmosphere of the genre bleeds through, but the center of attention really lies in the songwriting and the vocal delivery. It’s not too often that you hear something so simultaneously authentic and meticulously produced. Some moments will have you feeling like you’re listening to an impassioned, singer-songwriter-esque tune while others are steeped in 1980s alternative influence. It’s truly a wonderful mixture of effects.
The intro consists of two synth sounds: one buzzing and pulsing on the low end, and another plinking out a melodious riff. Percussion comes in with the verse: “You’re telling me…that you think it’s too late / Realities of a hand slow moving / You take a pause, you save the date.” These somewhat vague statements give the song an air of mystery, thusly, an air of intrigue. So far, the vocal register has remained low, but the second half of the verse switches things up. As the singer rockets to a higher octave, his voice overflows with rasp and emotiveness. The manner in which he throws out each word is effortlessly cool, and ultimately, a wonderful introduction to the chorus.
As the hook flows forward, as does the adrenaline rush of Phantom Isle’s full-band instrumentation. Bass and drums drive the chorus as keyboards and guitars fill up the sonic space. The combination of this simple lyric and climactic dynamic change makes for a memorable, satisfying moment.
Be sure to give Phantom Isle a listen! You’ll be glad you got to know this incredibly talented group.
Written by Alyce Lindberg
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