Red Telephone – ‘Hollowing Out’


Hollowing Out is a fantastic new album from Cardiff-based five-piece Red Telephone. Themes of dystopia prove impactful amidst an eclectic palate of sounds, taking inspiration from Berlin-era David Bowie in the darkly enveloping soundscapes, guided by atmospheric guitars and synths that also invoke film soundtrack influences like Blade Runner in their mystique and neon-tinted wonderment.

The striking opener “Hollowing Out” intrigues with an initial theatrical piano-fronted allure. Suave guitars and nocturnal synths emerge quickly thereafter, as various vocal offerings entice in their ambitious variety. Between the psych-friendly “hollowing out,” soaring and rousing rock-forward “need to believe,” sections, it’s apparent early in the album that Red Telephone possess a standout prowess for dynamic, moody vocal performances.

The subsequent “Happy Man” also captivates in its melodic structural variety, excelling especially during the “I want to see you,” eeriness. Several wordless vocal segments send chills alongside the atmospheric meshing of ’80s guitar atmospherics and synth-bass pops. “My love is so far away, I want to see you,” the vocals continue, where autumnal synth tones mesmerize.

Each track on the album oozes with atmosphere and charisma, from the effervescent glam-friendly pulses of “Normal Life” and ardent dark-rock of “I’m Broken” to the prog-friendly variety of the opener. Hollowing Out is amongst the most striking albums so far this year.

“Hollowing Out” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of May 2023’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Psychedelic Rock.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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