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Listen to the Emotionally Raw Indie rock and Post-Punk of Berlin-based Artist Kidaphex1975’s “Isola” LP

Leave your heaviness at the door

Come on in and have a seat

It’s ok you don’t have to talk

Would you like a cup of tea?

Kidaphex1975, aka James J. Trottier, is a Berlin-based musician with a knack for blending American Indie rock, ’80s British alternative, and ’60s protest folk. Trottier’s been penning tunes since he was 15, honing his craft in Canada before making the big leap to Berlin in 2010. That move was the kick he needed to go full throttle on his music career, leading to his debut album Hunger Streets dropping in August 2016.

Fast forward to his latest release, ISOLA, where Kidaphex1975 dials up the organic production without ditching the neon vibes of his earlier work. He ropes in Berlin artist Wasp Summer (Sam Wareing) for two tracks, and gets backup vocal support on the first single Innocent Lost from Tara C Taylor, another Berlin-based singer-songwriter.

“About three quarters through, I realized I had about two albums on my hands: one more dancy, new wavy and one where the songwriting took front and centre and I wanted to deliver them, with as little artifice as possible,” he explains. “I worked on about eighteen different songs, but couldn’t quite find the common thread until I looked closer at the lyrics….I realized I was actually not doing so well, after years of a pandemic, I found myself isolating and being aware of the passing of time. I reflected on how I have changed as a person and dealt with feelings of regret, sorrow and just the general bleak state of the world.”

The result is an intensely honest and emotional record, supported by solid songwriting and relatively minimalist production. “I wanted the vocals and harmonies to really stand out and let the songs speak for themselves,” he continues. “I was challenged to not do too much and let them stand on their own. I’m really proud of that.”

The opening and titled track, Isola, dives into feelings of loneliness and despair, painting a picture of a metaphorical ship that’s not just sailed but sunk, leaving the speaker high and dry. Amidst burning sand and turning tides, there’s a yearning to put out an internal fire, a nod to modern life’s disconnect. It’s a call to find light in the darkness. Innocence Lost serves up a hefty dose of manipulation, with claims of not belonging and love fading used as power plays. Despite a desire to love, there’s an instinct to run, pushing away when it counts, highlighting some serious inner turmoil and doubt.

Nametag portrays a relentless pursuit in a desolate landscape, driven by deep longing and powerlessness. It’s a snapshot of lonely life, emphasizing an inescapable emptiness and a future void of desired connection. Worryhead dishes out a grim take on life, love, and the ticking clock. Improvement and divine help? Forget it. The present is harsh, the future is a blur, and the past is a weight. There’s a sense of inevitability about the end, with worry and emptiness front and center, suggesting that even faith and magic are just fillers for the void.

The tender One Tribe honours a resilient and inspiring figure who embraced life, conquered challenges, and spread love and strength. She found peace, faced the destroyer, and lifted spirits without questioning her purpose. Despite her passing, her legacy as a guiding force and fierce protector lives on. The message encourages resilience and honoring those who fight on, even when facing loss and walking the road alone.

A sense of disillusionment with a once familiar place, now transformed and commercialized, haunts City With Wounds. Despite chasing dreams, they find peace in the quiet moments, realizing they don’t need drastic measures to feel alive. Confusion and uncertainty about reaching a breaking point and understanding emotions plague Halfshitbricking. Despite longing to rekindle their emotional core, they struggle with understanding their own feelings and motivations, highlighting a deep sense of emotional paralysis. Country Morning paints a vivid picture of seeking solace and beauty in a country morning, contrasting life’s turbulence with nature’s serenity. Ultimately, they long for the freedom and beauty of an endless sky.

Fallen From The Stars describe a cynical view of the world, where disillusionment and corruption dominate. The speaker sees through the façade of societal and individual pretenses, highlighting themes of lost innocence and exploited ideals. With references to historical and mythical imagery, the song contrasts the chaos and despair of reality with fleeting hopes for a better future. Change is all about that lightbulb moment when you realize you’re not who you used to be. The protagonist grapples with finding peace and direction, acknowledging a transformation that’s left them feeling like a stranger in their own skin. It’s a wake-up call that change is inevitable, and making peace with it is easier said than done.

Good to See You rolls out the red carpet for a friend weighed down by sorrow, offering a cozy respite from their troubles. It’s all about sharing a comforting moment and letting them know they matter.  Finally, Fuerteventura paints the picture of a dreamy romantic escape under a sky full of stars. The lovers enjoy cocktails, warm breezes, and intimate moments on the beach and in the pool. Even on Halloween, they bask in each other’s company, grateful for their love and good fortune.

Listen to the album below or order here.

The record was self-recorded in Berlin from 2021 to 2023. Also mixed, produced and mastered by Kidaphex1975 himself. The ISOLA album is out now via Distribution Platform RecordJet and is available on all major distribution platforms. There are no concerts planned yet, but a few performances are expecting by the end of the year.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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