Premiere: Phosphene Share New Track “Black Sheep” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  

Premiere: Phosphene Share New Track “Black Sheep”

Announce New LP Transmute Out September 15th

Jul 07, 2023 Photography by Jeffrey Placencia
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Portland-based indie rock outfit Phosphene is the project of vocalist/guitarist Rachel Frankel and guitarist/drummer Matt Hemmerich. The pair debuted in 2014 with a self-titled full-length record, followed by their 2020 sophomore effort, Lotus Eaters. Today, the duo is back with news of their forthcoming third full-length record, Transmute, out September 15th. Accompanying the announcement, they are also sharing a new single, “Black Sheep,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Black Sheep” is a dark and layered track, carried by a rumbling undercurrent of guitars, delicate synth accents, and Frankel’s airy vocal tones. The band brings echoes of the shimmering and evocative edge of dream pop, coupled with the shadowy pulse of shoegaze and post punk. The resulting track leans into their moody and ominous side, conjuring a tense atmosphere infused with dour meditations. Frankel and Hemmerich’s lyrics paint depression in abstract terms, imagining it as a cruel and constant companion: “Laying on the floor, I felt it hold me / Never had control of this old friend / You know I’m on your side / Don’t make this a big fight / And in its jaw I’m taken.”

Hemmerich says he took inspiration from artist Kaye Blegvad and her Dog Years comic while writing the track. “I had to learn to empower myself through self-love and excavation while understanding that depression is something I must manage,” he says.

Meanwhile, the accompanying music video paints the band and the Oregon coastline in shadowy black and white, immersing them in the track’s sinister ambiance. The pair teamed up with their friends Christie Goshe and Jeffrey Placencia to co-direct. Frankel says of the video, “Our aim was to create a timeless and cinematic atmosphere, so everything from the black and white grading and wardrobe to the frame rate and practical effects was intentional.”

Hemmerich continues, saying “I wore several hats—producer, director, production assistant, editor—to ensure we had our ducks in a row and made it to the finish line…It was truly a joy to collaborate with Jeff and Christie. They’re immensely talented creatives and generally inspiring people to be around. We’re grateful to call them close friends and know this video wouldn’t shine without their input and artistry.”

Check out the song and video below. Transmute is out everywhere on September 15th.


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