Electronica and indie pop band, Phantogram, has absolutely exploded in the past year. In 2013 alone they launched a nationwide tour, while simultaneously finding their way onto festival lineups across the country. They entered the new year with similar enthusiasm, dropping their newest album “Voices” in February.
“Voices” is a truly exceptional example of electronic crossover. It uses the sultry vocals of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter combined with guitar distortions and keyboard synth to create an echoing and futuristic sound. In essence, Phantogram simply learned to do Phantogram even better.
The album has an interesting theme dichotomy between life and insanity that explores the lightness and darkness of being human. Songs like “Never Going Home” and “Fall in Love” touch on the complexities of interpersonal relationships while offering emotionally charged beats and choruses. Songs such as “The Day You Died” and “Black Out Days” similarly maintain Phantogram’s mellowed sound, but also offer a touch of upbeat rhythm that is perfect for dancing.
Phantogram uses a cloak of nighttime tone in all their music, but “Voices” is exceptional in this aspect. It captures the ambience while still keeping the listener interested. That being said, the band could work on keeping their instrumentals fresh and lively. Their sound can sometimes become too familiar, blending songs into one long compilation.
Furthermore, many songs on the album can feel like fillers that lack true purpose. Regardless, “Voices” is proof that the duo are growing as musicians and much is to be expected from them in the future. If you are interested in hearing Phantogram debut “Voices” live, the group will be at the Ogden in Denver this Tuesday, April 15.
Written By: Haley Monahan