Album Review: ‘Tides’ by Diego Philips
Indie artist Diego Philips has released his new album, Tides. Created with his band the Pretty Boys, the experimental and soulful LP was recorded in East Sussex and produced by James Yates. Self-funded and unsigned, Tides features influences from the realms of indie, blues and psychedelia, thereby creating an eclectic and deep indie rock sound to delight the senses.
A short bio
Diego Philips is a singer/songwriter and guitarist from Belgium who moved to London to pursue a music career. With his band the Pretty Boys, he has performed at more than 25 London shows. The six-piece act formed at BIMM in London in 2015, with each of the members adding their own cultural and musical backgrounds to their collective sound. The Pretty Boys feature the guitarist Jay Dano, the bassist Jordan Liardon, drummer Piotr Paskiewicz, percussionist Jakub Rokosz and pianist Paul Drilhon. They are inspired by acts such as Father John Misty, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Michael Kiwanuka. The album also sees collaborations with vocalists Magda Skyllbäck, Miranda Öhman, Emma Hughes and Linnéa Ljungblad. You can keep up with Diego Philips on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and his official website.
The “Tides” Review
The ten tracks were written by Diego and explores the universal and heartfelt themes of love, heartbreak and personal growth, as well as looking at what connects us and what makes us unique. Firstly, Tides opens with ‘Smile’, a positive and euphoric track about falling in love. The guitar riffs are sunlit and Diego’s vocal delivery is infectiously bouncy. This catchy tune features influences from The Beatles, Bob Dylan and a bit of 80’s flair with a Hall & Oates-style demeanor. Cheer then turns into reflection as we reach ‘Where Did You Go?’, a lullaby about the theme of loss. Here, the vocal echoes create room for thought.
The album’s third track, ‘Pretend’, warmly blends pop hooks and classic guitar riffs with soulful rhythms. This uplifting track is a tribute to the power of intimacy and how good connection feels. On a different note, the dark and hypnotic ‘The Sun’ is an ode to the dangerous pull of distraction. Diego Philips wrote the track as a dark metaphor for the music business.
Then, in the next two tracks of the LP, we encounter two very different representations of love. ‘A Song’ presents us with the topic of unrequited love – a track filled with dark guitar tones, eerieness, dissapointment and uncertainty. The latter, ‘When I Feel the Moon’ is a poetic ode to loving and being loved back. Although the tranquil tones have persisted, this is definitely on a more positive playing field. With warmer guitar riffs, the song is self-assured, celebratory and indulgent.
In conclusion, Tides appropiately closes with the heavenly ‘In The Dark’. This dreamy exploration of love leaves the listener on a happy note with its strong percussion and elevated choruses.
The final verdict
In sum, Tides is a delight for the ears and for the soul. While it provides us with sufficient escapism, Diego’s new LP helps us to reflect on our own memories – both painful and euphoric. Moving between phases of the playful and the serious, musically the album manipulates a wealth of genres, from indie and psychedelia to funk and blues. Therefore, although the subjects of love, heartbreak and distraction may seem universal, the instrumentation is multi-faceted and unique. The product of this variety is a thoughtful, experimental and soulful album which incorperates both vintage inspirations and a modern indie feel.
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