Phantogram

phantgram_album_cover Phantogram-Voices-608x608

Phantogram is an electronic pop duo from New York consisting of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. Following in the footsteps of indie-electro acts like The Postal Service and M83, Phantogram spice things up with trip-hop leaning beats and sampling, driving guitars, intergalactic keyboards and stellar pop-hook melodies and phrasing. In my mind there’s 2 distinct sides to Phantogram, as Barthel and Carter split vocal duties at roughly a 2:1 ratio. Songs led by Barthel are definitely in the top half of their work, offering greater structural variability, a broader vocal range, catchier motifs, and just straight-up technically superior singing. When I think of Phantogram, I think of Barthel’s Phantogram. In general, the other batch of tunes are more basic and repetitive, almost as though they intentionally simplified Carter’s songs to make their live performance easier (perhaps partly because simultaneously playing guitar and singing is a lot harder than most musicians make it look). Buuuut I hate to be too critical – lets just say his proficiencies at programming and guitar playing are more Carter’s forte, and constitute a crucial element of the beauty of Phantogram.

Since forming in 2007, Phantogram have released 2 stellar LPs “Eyelid Movies” and brand-new “Voices”, as well as noteworthy EP “Nightlife”.

Favourite track: Mouthful of Diamonds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F39CFE_ISy4)… Wishing upon a star, just before it supernovas.

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