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Phantogram produces hypnotic album ‘Voices’

Phantogram is the latest hipster buzzword. It can be heard around campus, at parties and by some people complaining that they’re becoming too mainstream with all their recent radio play. 

But let’s get one thing straight: Regardless of its amount of airtime, Phantogram is putting out some amazing music that deserves all the hype.

Phantogram recently released its album “Voices” delivers a perfect mix of high-energy electronic jams and darker, softer songs. 

The duo, originating from Greenwich, N.Y., is comprised of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, both of whom alternate vocals throughout the album. Combined, the two add unique dimensions to the songs. 

“Voices” begins with “Nothing But Trouble,” which features booming bass and a blend of highly distorted and electronic noises. Despite Barthel’s soft crooning, “Don’t listen to me, I’m nothing but trouble,” I can’t help but continue listening to its eerily beautiful and magnetic quality. 

Their first single, “Fall In Love,” is a synthetic dream. Something about this song just screams the feeling of driving around late at night with your friends. This is a song you should be happy to hear on the airwaves.

“Never Going Home” has a Daft Punk-esque beginning that leads right into Carter’s guitar playing. This is the first time Carter sings on the album, and his echoing voice emerges with a strangely similar quality to Phil Collins’s “In The Air Tonight.”  

For a song titled “The Day You Died,” the next track is ironically upbeat. The album takes a turn here, building momentum and gliding into more fast paced songs with groovy, psychedelic pop vibes.

In “Bad Dreams,” Barthel’s wailing is followed by a tug-of-war with your eardrums as the beat bounces back and forth between the speakers of your headphones.

Finally, the album comes to a close with “My Only Friend,” a sweet mixture of whispered vocals and haunting piano. The whispers then turn into full-out singing, as heavy synth and drums accompany the piano.

Overall, this album is the perfect backdrop to your next night-time summer adventure. There’s something about the duo’s new music that’s sultry and mysterious. It has the ability to make you feel equally invincible and vulnerable at the same time.

Previously, Phantogram had released the album “Eyelid Movies” in 2009, which included the singles “When I’m Small” and “Mouthful of Diamonds.”

Phantogram will be playing on Saturday, May 3, at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Philadelphia as part of the Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party concert series.

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