The self-titled debut record by Phosphene has all the criteria I look for when I think of what an indie pop/rock should have. Guitars that focus of aesthetically creative riffs, drums that don’t sound overproduced, and a fair amount of melancholy that is combined with vocal melodies that are infectious.
Phosphene began when Matt Hemmerich and Rachel Frankel (singer/guitarist) met in college and started playing music together. They recently were joined by Kevin Kaw (bass) to add the low end. Their debut record contains nine well written songs that fans of bands like Hum, Death Cab For Cutie, Pavement should embrace. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to enjoy this record. It felt immediately accessible and familiar.
One aspect that makes the songs easy to enjoy is Rachel Frankel's voice. It’s warm, not overly feminine and has some tonal qualities that feel very inviting. Her voice is the anchor that not only carries the songs but as you listen more and more becomes the component that separates them from bands with similar musical styles.
Another thing the young band has going for it is that record is fairly consistent in a number of ways. There weren’t any songs that I felt were real duds nor did that have any songs that felt like complete deviations from there sound. (a common pitfall for a new band).
There were a couple songs however that did seem to be a bit stronger than others. The second track “Lovers” has an addictive vocal melody while “Thief” embraces melancholy and displays some of the bands depth. Arguably, the highlight is “Dark Light” which contains orchestral string and is mostly void of percussion. Frankel's vocal harmonies added another layer of depth to the music.
Phosphene is off to a good start. There are still some kinks in the armor but overall, the music is well written and implemented.
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