New Video: Bratislava’s 52 Hertz Whale Shares Forceful “Phil”

The 52-hertz whale, sometimes referred to as 52 Blue is an individual whale of unidentified species that calls at the usual pitch of 52 hertz, a higher pitch frequency than that of the other whale species with migration patterns most closely resembling it. This whale’s call has been detected regularly in many locations since the 1980s, and appears to be the only individual emitting a whale call at this frequently. This whale, which has never been sighted by only heard through hydrophones, has been described as the “world’s loneliest whale.”

Bratislava, Slovakia-based post-punk outfit 52 Hertz Whale derive their name from the “world’s loneliest whale.” And with the release of 2015’s self-titled debut EP and 2017’s full-length debut i’ve met a lot of people, which the band supported with a lengthy tour through Germany, Poland, Belgium and the Czech Republic, the Slovakian quintet quickly amassed a following both nationally and internationally.

Adding to a growing profile, the band has made stops across the European Festival circuit, including Pohoda, Colours of Ostrava, Liverpool Sound City, Grape Festival, and Sharpe Festival among others, which have been praised by the international press.

The Slovakian quintet’s highly anticipated sophomore album — and first batch of new material in five years, Present Sense Impression is slated for an August 26, 2022 release through Full Moon Forum and Weltschmerzen. “Phil,” Present Sense Impression‘s stormy first single pays homage to The Microphones’ Phil Elverum — with The Microphones’ Song Islands being the foundation from which the lyrics for “Phil” come from. Interestingly, the song has an unusual structure that eschews the traditional verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus format. Rooted in the rapid-fire, inner monologue of a seemingly desperate and crazed narrator, and enormous hooks, the song starts off with a dramatic introduction of scorching synths and guitars that sounds much like a wailing ambulance rushing to an emergency. The song’s second section is centered around thunderous and propulsive four-on-the-floor and angular guitar attack. The song’s third section is a bit more atmospheric, featuring reverb-drenched guitars, military style drumming and a blazing guitar solo. The song’s last 50-60 seconds is an explosive bang before a gentle fade out. The end result is a song that’s unapologetically frenetic and adventurous in scope.

“‘Phil” was put together during the pandemic months of 2020,” 52 Hertz Whale’s bassist Fabo explains. “‘Phil’ and the rest of Present Sense Impression were created in the solitude of the Czech woods with the help of Prosecco, in cracked version of Ableton, and in a rehearsal space filled with smoke. Through cliched teeth, chaos, drive, as well as reluctance,we’ve arrived at a fuse of the good and the bad.” The band’s drummer Tomáš adds “‘Phil’ is one of the two new tracks that don’t feature a classic chorus, much like our older stuff. We only started to make use of those with the guidance of Lazer Viking, who produced most of the album.”

Directed, filmed and edited by Palo Hedmeg, the accompanying video stars Katarína Vyskočová and follows her on a spontaneous shoot in and around a waterworks near Bratislava. We follow her as she stomps, dances and sings along with the song.

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