Last Friday, the music industry was held hostage by the surprise release of Beyoncé’s exclusive visual album. Not only did Queen B’s guerrilla attack crash iTunes servers, but it overshadowed everything else that happened in the music world that week, including the release of Lorde’s secret single “No Better”, the announcement of Phantogram’s second studio album, Voices, and the release of their leading single, “Fall In Love”.
Phantogram are an electronic trip-hop rock duo, made up of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, two friends who grew up together in a small town called Greenwich, upstate of New York. Originally called Charlie Everywhere, the duo formed in 2007, and have toured with bands including Metric, The xx, School of Seven Bells and Yeasayer, as well as performing in major North American music festivals like Coachella, Sasquatch and Lollapalooza.
Since releasing their debut album Eyelid Movies in September 2009, and four EPs, the duo have gained favour among American television and film producers, with tracks featured on MTV’s Skins and Teen Wolf, and The CW’s The Secret Circle and The Originals. They also released an exclusive track for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.
Their latest EP, released on 30 September, features four of the 11 tracks for Voices, including “Black Out Days”, “Never Going Home”, “The Day You Died” and “Celebrating Nothing”. “Fall In Love” is a powerful song that showcases Sarah’s sultry and slightly operatic vocals against Josh’s psychedelic mash-up of looped keyboards. Their layered sound is gritty and textured, and is complemented by a blown bass, and melancholy lyrics.
“It has been hard to describe our music to people who haven’t heard it,” Sarah admits in an On Another Note interview. “When a stranger asks us what kind of music we make, we refer to it as ‘street beat psyche pop’.”
Voices is set to release on 18 February 2014. I wonder which American teen drama is going to snatch up “Fall In Love” first!
Hometown: Greenwich/Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
Latest Album: Eyelid Movies, released 14 September 2009.
Sounds like: Cults, Purity Ring, and Starfucker.
Say what? According to a Nylon TV interview, Josh “definitely got roofied by a creepy dude in Wisconsin” on tour, Sarah recounts.