A phantogram is an optical illusion that makes a two dimensional images appear to be 3D. Much like their clever namesake, Phantogram the band has a musical blueprint that sounds like it was methodically crafted by a full band. In reality it just comes down to high-school friends Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. The duo began working together in 2007 and found that their unique sensibilities went beyond recording a song or two for fun. Their musical collaboration soon extended into the studio where Phantogram, formerly known as Charlie Everywhere, started to piece together what has become quite a remarkable career to say the least.
Phantogram first released two EPs in 2009 developing their experimental approach of fusing indie pop and trip-hop. For the duo it’s all about melodic soundscapes that captivate the senses. Barthel’s graceful vocals are essential to the experience, bridging heartfelt narratives listeners can relate to. Their debut album Eyelid Movies dropped in 2010, helping solidify their presence as an alternative group on the rise. Nightlife followed in 2011, a short, delightful project to hold fans over as Phantogram linked up with the likes of The Flaming Lips and veteran rap star Big Boi for features.
Phantogram released their sophomore album Voices in February. Check out “Black Out Days,” a clear cut favorite that features a chilling synth backdrop, and “Celebrate Nothing,” an enchanting performance that gets better with each spin. Pick up a copy of Voices on iTunes. This will likely be a project that people are talking about at year’s end.