Electronica junkies everywhere are bounding with elation at voices, the second Phatogram album released on February 18th. The sprightly duo conjured up eleven tranquil tracks that all listeners can relate to, understand and appreciate.
This understated team made a name for themselves through TV, with melodies featured on Pitch Perfect, Skins and The Secret Circle. Their 2009 studio album, Eyelid Movies, gained popularity with underground listeners but failed to chart as a top running album of that year. Let’s hope the sophomore album acquires traction and turns heads, as cohesively, it’s a much more mature release.
The street beat pair chose to highlight the soft vocals rather than drowning them out with wonky bass, a trivial standard for many elctro bands. This artistic decision allows Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel to flaunt their organic power, granting every genre patron with love and respect for voices.
Nothing But Trouble opens the album on a tenacious note, honoring Carter and Barthel’s writing, composition and style. The steadfast beat-work married with the lead vocals is what makes this song a front-runner for the album. It sets the tone and gives a proper introduction of what’s to follow. And that’s what makes a strong album, consistency.
What ensues is track after track of airy vocals, whispy keyboards and general trip hop magic. Howling At The Moon brings the synthesizers and drum machines to the front of the track, giving the tune a sturdy techno backing. But don’t be confused by the term “techno”, this is anything but electronic dance music. This album places me in a candle lit room with a glass of wine and momento flying through my head.
To close this album is my choice track, My Only Friend, An edgy and emotional beat. The instruments awaken you and encourage a slight bob of the head. When you reach this part of the album, you’ll feel complete and breathless. Phantogram is proudly making a place for themselves in the psych pop genre.
A new album wouldn’t be complete without a tour, below are the dates. Say you got to check these guys out before they became big-timin’ celebs, because that’s where they’re headed.
February 20, Fox Theatre, Oakland CA
February 22, Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood CA
February 22, The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA
April 4, Stage AE, Pittsburg PA
April 5, Lifestyle Community Pavilion, Columbus OH
April 6, 20th Century Theatre, Cincinnati OH
April 8, The Pageant, St. Louis MO
Photo Credit: Republic Records
Jackie has a passion for old and dusty, often wrapped up in The Doors, James Taylor and Gram Parsons. You can find her at your local thrift shop digging for early vinyl and trying to locate her inner flower child. When she’s not buried in her record room, she’s downward dogging it on her yoga mat and rewarding herself with the best $10 wines. Her child’s named after Marshall Tucker Band, her roots are in the deep South and her soul wanders vastly. See what she’s up to today at http://jackieboeheim.com/