Rachel Frankel and Matt Hemmerich first met 15 years ago, moving slowly from classmates to friends to partners in both life and music. They found common ground in 2000s indie rock and formed a band of their own, releasing their self-titled debut, Phosphene, in 2014.
In the decade since, the duo has morphed in sound and band configuration, but curiosity and empathy for the human condition remain staples in their songwriting. Third full-length album, Transmute, is the duo’s most adventurous work to date, introducing synths and digital string arrangements to tell stories of struggle and overcoming. Woven into every song is a deep curiosity for the gray areas of life—how sorrow can transform into joy, or the other way around.
“Our aim was to transform the raw material of certain subject matter like depression, war, and the pandemic into evocative anecdotes,” Hemmerich said. “It was essential that we could dive into the pain and grief of topics addressed on the album, while being able to come up for air.”