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The phone used to be something that hung on the wall. Now it’s a friend depository, an entertainment centre, an information lifeline, and more. People almost seem to be in a relationship with their phone – they can’t stand to be separated from it and mourn its loss if it goes astray. Everywhere you look it’s a sea of bowed heads. A lot of people don’t even talk on their phones, they’re so busy doing other things. Today’s artists have got a strong connection to their devices for sure, though the link here does appear to come back to an actual human being.

Gavin Bowles and the Distractions are all over our phone theme. Their soon-to-be released album is entitled Phoning It In while their pre-release single is “On the Telephone (I Used to Call You).” The setting lyrically and stylistically is 1979 modish power pop. I definitely get a pre-Parallel Lines Blondie feeling taking this in. By contrast The All Night Chemist brings the banjo out front for “I’m In Love With My Phone.” No, this is not a paean to some AI-driven device but someone replaying a lost love’s phone message over and over. The song is a great shambolic mix of folk and new wavey keyboard riffs. The indomitable Fernando Perdomo has yet another vehicle to showcase his formidable talents with his new duo Broken Sound. “Fiero” is taken from their new self-titled album and it’s working our phone theme hard. As the video and lyrics for the song demonstrate, it’s all about car phones. The video pastiche of 1970s movie and TV car phone clips perfectly captures how cool/not cool the car phone was at the time. Last up a band literally living our focus, The Telephone Numbers. Ok, the song is not about phones but I’m giving them a pass because this single is so good. “Weird Sisters” has a Anglo-folk pop sound I associate with Roddy Frame or The Lilac Time. A poppy delight.

Being ‘on the phone’ appears to mean something very different today compared to days of yore. And people are gonna write songs about it. You can dial up these should-be new faves by clicking the hot-linked names you see above.

Top photo featuring Poprock Record exclusive model Rob Elliott courtesy Swizzle Studio.