released Feb 9th, 2010

from the album - Mouthful Of Diamonds

YouTube - Phantogram - Mouthful of Diamonds (Live on KEXP)

from all music
Phantogram is an electronic rock duo from upstate New York whose music incorporates psychedelic pop vocals, J Dilla-style hip-hop beats, and shoegazing sensibility. Founded in 2007 and based in Saratoga Springs, NY, the duo is comprised of longtime friends Josh Carter (guitar, vocals) and Sarah Barthel (keyboards, vocals), who originally hail from the nearby small town of Greenwich, NY. Originally known as Charlie Everywhere and associated with the local independent label Sub-Bombin Records, the duo released the eponymous Phantogram EP in March 2009 and sparked widespread interest with two songs in particular, "Mouthful of Diamonds" and "When I'm Small." Phantogram subsequently released the Running from the Cops EP in May 2009 on the international label BBE Records. The duo finally made its full-length album debut with Eyelid Movies (2010), an 11-track album featuring the four previously released EP songs "Mouthful of Diamonds," "When I'm Small," "Running from the Cops," and "Bloody Palms." The album was released internationally by BBE Records, domestically by Barsuk Records, and on vinyl by Ghostly International.

album review

Seeing that the New York duo Phantogramís debut album is on Barsuk, one might assume they are gentle indie rockers or, since they are a male/female duo, maybe something along the lines of Mates of State. You might not guess that they are trip-hop revivalists. They are though, and Eyelid Movies sounds like nothing other than a lost Mono or Alpha record. All the hallmarks of the trip-hop sound are here: the hip-hop drum loops, the off-kilter guitar lines that sound like they were sampled from spy films, actual samples that probably are from old film scores, the dreamily atmospheric synths that cushion the beats like fluffy pillows, and most of all, vocalist Sarah Barthelís whisper-sweet vocals. To the duoís credit, the sound totally works and the record sounds less like a rip than it does a loving re-creation. Songs like "As Far as I Can See" or "When Iím Small" sound as good as anything trip-hoppers back in 1993 were doing. Plus, they add some elements to the basic template that help make things interesting, especially on the songs that Josh Carter sings. "Turn It Off" ups the tempo and adds chopped-up vocal loops, "Bloody Palms" adds a level of angry drama the rest of that album lacks, and most impressively "You Are the Ocean" is a rippling guitar-based dream pop ballad that shows a healthy knowledge of A.R. Kaneís catalog. (Itís about time they got a look in!) Eyelid Movies is a nostalgia trip at heart, but it isnít a lifeless pastiche by any means. The amount of care the duo gives to the arrangements, the subtle and successful blending of influences, and above all, the high quality of the songs and performances, mean that the record is a success on its own terms.

Track Listing

1 Mouthful of Diamonds Carter, Phantogram 4:13
2 When I'm Small Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 4:09
3 Turn It Off Carter, Phantogram 4:01
4 Running from the Cops Carter, Phantogram 3:57
5 All Dried Up Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 3:46
6 As Far as I Can See Carter, Phantogram 3:29
7 You Are the Ocean Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 5:49
8 Bloody Palms Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 3:31
9 Futuristic Casket Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 3:37
10 Let Me Go Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 4:25
11 10,000 Claps Barthel, Carter, Phantogram 3:30