Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Phantastic Influences: Phantogram Channel Their Inner Bristolian

Having grown up in Bristol, the spritual home of British trip-hop, when a band is compared to Portishead or Massive Attack my ears naturally prick up like a Red Bull-addled Meerkat. Thus, upstate NY duo Phantogram  this week happened across my stereo after reviewer comparisons to Beth Gibbons' evergreen crew. 

Largely justified, the band's debut Eyelid Movies is packed with loping, gloriously laconic beats and the similarly toned vocals of Sarah Barthel. Though they come close to the Portishead aesthetic, Phantogram can inject a more melodic electronic bent into their material, something that sees them veer away from the darker introspection of their forebears. 

On occasion the music blends into the background all too easily, soothing the senses a little too much perhaps, but tracks like the glitchy When I'm Small and groove-heavy Bloody Palms spark the synapses and show why this effort is worthy of the attention it has been receiving. 


MP3: Phantogram - When I'm Small (via Insound
Taken from debut album Eyelid Movies, out now 

Buy it at Insound!


The band plays the Sasquatch Festival over the coming Memorial Day weekend, then remains out West for a few dates with perma-hyped London crew The xx. If you happen to have love for the latter - not something that I've been able to evoke in my own ears - and have snagged tickets already, then definitely arrive early for something to accompany your first drink or two. Chances are you'll find your new go-to music for the wee hours of the morning.


2 comments:

Jeff S said...

My wife and I caught the May 22 Phantogram show. Josh and Sarah both look great on stage and craft with absolute vigor and passion. I suspect opening for the xx (and then later metric) will be just the catalyst this band deserves.

zidered said...

Thanks for the insight Jeff, I'm stoked to see them live at some point soon (hopefully). The album has continued to grow on me...I hear all kinds of potential for them to cross over to different audiences every time I listen.