The Phonemes There's Something We've Been Meaning to Do

It’s been three years since the Phonemes released their debut EP, a fact which the title of their first full-length addresses. Without resorting to the appropriate proverb, it can easily be said that the admittedly slow-moving band have done some lovely work in the meantime. Picking up where they left off, There’s Something combines sweet, unassuming ballads ("Oh Sleep”) with up-tempo, multi-instrumental rockers ("Lewis”). Though some of these tracks have been played live for years, they translate well to record. They’re not songs any audience is liable to grow sick of in the first place but the Phonemes have, impressively, managed to keep their own material fresh between studio takes. Singer/songwriter Magali Meagher’s voice sounds wholesome and worldly at the same time, and while she sounded a little bit shy on the band’s EP, here she sings earnestly and with character. The music is nuanced and while bouncy tracks like "Easter Suit” grab you with catchy hooks, harmonies and rounds, softer songs like "Tree” develop beautifully on a bare vocal track with finger-picked violin and simple guitar. Meagher is great at writing melodies, and There’s Something’s varied tempos show that her talent is apparent in any context. (Blocks)