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Voices

Phantogram

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Album Review

After making some noise with their debut album, Eyelid Movies, which straddled the line between trip-hop and shoegaze with the skill of an acrobat, Phantogram have refined and expanded their sound in really interesting ways. The duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have added R&B influences and hip-hop swagger to the mix, refined their songwriting skills, and in Barthel's case, become a very powerful vocal presence. Their second album, 2014's Voices, shows how far they have come and is a really solid and deep modern pop album that sounds perfectly crafted and infused with real emotions. It's easy to see why their music has blown up over the time between albums: the arrangements are huge and accessible, with every bit of space filled with interesting synth sounds, drum programs, and guitars that create a richly enveloping atmosphere. Their use of samples is deft as they dig deep into the work of South Korean psychedelic guitarist Shin Joong Hyun, the Chi-Lites (with excellent use of "Coldest Day of My Life" on the beautiful ballad "Bill Murray"), and rare soul grooves that provide some off-kilter mystery and grit to their dreamy approach. Rising out of the background like a massive wave of warmth and giving the album an emotional center are Barthel's impressive vocals. She can belt it out like she's trying to reach the back rows of an arena (like on the rumbling new wave-inspired "Nothing But Trouble" or the Rihanna-produced-by-Tricky jammer "Fall in Love") or she can slink around in the mix with some real subtlety (on the murky, moody "Black Out Days"), but no matter the size or mood, she totally nails everything. Voices is filled with catchy, emotion-packed songs that will sound great booming out of radio speakers, soundtracking late nights spent alone and wondering, and anytime some really powerful modern pop is needed.

Customer Reviews

I believe in this album

Have a strong feeling that this album is going to be really really amazing!! "Fall In Love" is a great song:)

Excellent

This is a hella good album. Some awesome laid back songs as well as some tracks with a lot of energy and soul. Overall, this is a very interesting, enjoyable, and cohesive album that rivals but does not quite eclipse their first album.
If you haven't already, check out their older stuff because do it

Phantogram is wesomeness all around

I finally got to see them live in October... Wowser! They played their beautiful music and teased us with some of their new album material ... Goodness. Heard 'fall in love' for first time yesterday... LOVE!! That's it, I preordered their new album today! Can't wait to see them live again! These guys don't know it but they are in my top 3 fave bands... that speaks volumes!!

Biography

Formed: 2007 in Saratoga Springs, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Phantogram are an electronic rock duo from upstate New York whose music incorporates psychedelic pop vocals, J Dilla-style hip-hop beats, and shoegazing sensibility. Founded in 2007 and based in Saratoga Springs, New York, the duo is comprised of longtime friends Josh Carter (guitar, vocals) and Sarah Barthel (keyboards, vocals), who originally hail from the nearby small town of Greenwich, New York. Originally known as Charlie Everywhere and associated with the local independent label Sub-Bombin...
Full Bio
Voices, Phantogram
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Customer Ratings

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