Day for Night Artist Spotlight: Phantogram

Written by on November 13, 2017
Cosmic punk-infatuated indie electronic music, intoxicated with love, drugs, and heavy synths, Phantogram is the quintessential band for a chaotic relationship. You know that couple that’s always breaking up but always ends up finding their way back to each other, only to fight more in an explosive and ardent manner you thought was only in bad Romantic comedies? Imagine if that was a sound. Now imagine someone took a lot of illicit substances and arranged those sounds into a sonic masterpiece. That’s Phantogram’s “Voices” album. Yeah, it’s that good.
Made up of two members, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, Phantogram hails from duo’s home since childhood, New York City. After both being dissatisfied in their own individual endeavors after high school, the two returned to each other to create something bigger than themselves. Named after an optical illusion (check a google search of examples here) the band lives up to their namesake in the overall sound design, vibe, emotion, and soundscape. A disorienting disoriented repetitive repetition of syncopated patterns, swirling guitars, heavy synthesizers, and left-field bridges all come together to make 2-4 minute stories that hook you in and leave you haunted long after the song ends. I’ll admit I sometimes find myself singing one of their songs when presented with some sort of somber or depressed mood some days, only to feel worse due to the intensity of the impact some of their songs have had on me.

Spill Artist Portrait by Daniel Adams

Some notable achievements of this interesting duo are just as unique as their sound. From collaborating with “Big Boi” of OutKast for a joint project called “Big Grams” to being the soundtrack of a toothpaste commercial, this Duo has distinguished themselves in every avenue of their career. What other indie band do you know that had collaborated with a southern hip hop legend who was part of arguably the greatest hip hop group of all time?

Big Boi and Phantogram, ‘Big Grams’

Big Boi and Phantogram

Another interesting distinction of theirs is the amount of re-released and remixed versions of songs they have released along side their main projects. Theres remixes that are almost different songs entirely (You Don’t Get Me High Anymore “how to dress well Remix”). All in all, Phantogram oozes originality and avant-garde innovation to every facet of their art: be it music, releases, public relations, collaboration, or even personal relationships, Phantogram has proven to be an underground yet foundational artist to the new wave of indie music. They may never get the recognition they deserve during their active careers, but there’s no doubt that eventually many major artists of the future will list them as an impactful influence on their own sound. Personally I liken them to an almost velvet underground type of influence, where not many people will listen or know them, but the ones who do will go on to create successful bands and continue their legacy with echoes of Phantogram resonating in the music of the coming decades.
To purchase tickets for Day for Night Fest where Phantogram will be performing click here.
To check out their twitter click here. To view their ITunes artist profile click here. To have a psychedelic freak out, click here.
As always if you like the photos and want to know where they came from, click them to be taken to their website.

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