PHONY – “Waffle House” & “Turnstile Effect”

Neil Berthier spent most of the past decade leading the emotive New Orleans indie band Donovan Wolfington. He’s since relocated to Boston and started a solo project called PHONY, which will soon release its second album, Knock Yourself Out. He announced the album earlier this summer with lead single “Waffle House,” and today he follows it up with another song called “Turnstile Effect.”

A whole range of familiar indie-rock touchpoints are in the mix with PHONY, from the guttural grunge of Nirvana to the punchy pop-punk of Joyce Manor to the anthemic emo of Sorority Noise. Both “Waffle House” and “Turnstile Effect” show off the project’s softer side. The former is a bleary trancelike ballad about “panic attacks at a Waffle House somewhere in Oklahoma.” The latter is a minimal indie-pop track with hushed vocals and brushed drums that eventually explodes into a full-fledged rocker. In a rejection of a famous sitcom motto from his adopted hometown, Berthier sings about wanting to be where no one knows his name.

Hear both “Waffle House” and “Turnstile Effect” below.

Knock Yourself Out is out 8/28 on Smartpunk Records. Pre-order it here.