February 4, 2011

The Phonemes, Grad Club, Kingston, 19 September 2009

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 8:27 pm by rgsc

(photo of The Phonemes, with Owen Pallett, at the Tranzac 2007.)

The Phonemes are in no rush. They (really, she, Magali Meagher, with help from her friends) took three years between releasing her EP and her LP and it has been over three years since that wonderful album “There’s something we’ve been meaning to do”” came out. I am hoping that there will be a new album soon but I am more than willing to wait for what comes next.

The Phonemes create delicate, intricate pop songs which, understandably, do not spring forth fully formed. A stunning song like “Plate Dance”, with its restraint and refinement is not something that occurs by chance. No, The Phonemes are deliberate and slow paced. While this may be frustrating for a listener, who wishes that more and more and moremoremore of their songs will pour out of speakers and headphones, in the end, it is worth the wait.

When I saw them for the first time, there was just Meagher. Some of the understated lushness found on her recordings was absent, but her lovely pop songs shone. Accompanied on the records by friends who bring strings and drums and harmonies, The Phonemes have an intriguing complexity. For all that these additional players add to the recordings, live, they are not needed. Alone with her guitar onstage, Meagher performed with a modest confidence. She transfixed the audience with an intimate (and at times interactive – for “Steeples + Peoples” she passed out pages from a newspaper to be rustled by people in the crowd, while others clapped, adding wonderful texture to the song) set. Her rich, innocent voice and unadorned guitar were all we needed and more than we hoped for. Below are a few tracks recorded from that night. I hope you enjoy them.

The Phonemes will be playing tomorrow, Feb 5th at The Mansion with Random Recipe and Kingston’s own Monuments & Statues. This is The Phonemes last show at the moment but be sure to keep up to date on their site.

The Phonemes, Grad Club, Kingston, 19 September 2009

* April, Let’s Send His Colleagues An Email
* Steeples + Peoples
* Pain Perdu

Buy the fantastic EP + LP from BlocksRC/Blue Shop & Zunior (also get the wonderful Friends in Bellwoods II which feature “April…”)

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