Breakthrough Band: Phantogram

Sarah D. Barthel and Joshua M. Carter are NYC’s Phantogram and ready to take the world by storm with their debut full-length just around the corner. They call their music “a culmination of unique street beat rhythms, spaced-out synths, swirling guitars, with combined technology and organic textures,”and the write-ups on the web drawing comparisons to Blonde Redhead, Portishead and My Bloody Valentine plus suspected influences from Serge Gainsbourg and J-Dilla don’t seem to help to put them in an easy niche either. But for once, all of these cross references make sense and the band’s self-perception is a decent approach towards trying to sum it all up.

From the dreamlike atmosphere of the shoegaze era created by hazy yet lush walls of sound and fuzzy guitars along with the distant ambient pads, squealing bleeps and buzzing bass synths from the electronica toolkit up to the chopped samples of skilled rap producers and the sluggish drumloops of trip hop paired with organic percussions, it’s all there, layered with the multi-instrumentalist virtuosity of an indie music collective the size of a sports team and finally enriched with the vocals of both Sarah and Joshua.

As opposed to the lackluster and incomplete mosaics you usually get from bands with a similar approach, every single Phantogram track, and the album as a whole, is perfectly consistent, resulting in glistening prismatic gemstones, slightly intriguing in regard to the vast amount of different bits from various musical influences. ‘Eyelid Movies’ is an appropriate title for this roundup of vivid daydreams, forthcoming on Sub-Bombin Records and BBE Music. Check the video for “Running From The Cops” after the jump.

Check out our Breakthrough Band Archive.

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