• Phantogram ‘Nightlife’ – Album Review And Free Track Download

    By Natalie Ekstrand

    The new mini LP, entitled Nightlife, from New York street pop duo Phantogram, comes out November 1st.  With their first album release in February 2010, long time friends Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboards) and Josh Carter (vocals, guitars) have enjoyed a fair amount of success for a newer band.  Compared with such promising new groups as The XX, Phantogram has a promising and bright future in the electro pop circuit.  Their musical careers are on the fast track with several festival appearances and ongoing tours alongside other well known bands.

    Nightlife is, no doubt, the continuation of a good thing.  Carter explains that the mini LP is an extension of their first successful album, Eyelid Movies.  This group of songs continues with the same tangible rhythm, off kilter beats, and Barthel’s beautiful breathy vocals.  However Phantogram does leave behind the more trip hop sound of their previous album, in favor of a cheerier electro synth sound here.  “16 Years” starts off the track list with a celebratory percussion sound reminiscent of marching band drums at a pep rally.  Synth keyboard and Barthel’s light vocals are layered on top with the appearance of a beautiful guitar harmony.  Next, the previously released upbeat single “Don’t Move.”  The song title is ironic because listening to this song elicits body movement. You can listen and download “Don’t Move” below:

    Phantogram – Don’t Move

    Phantogram integrates horns on the track “Turning into Stone.”  “Make a Fist” sports a synth line very similar to “Mouthful of Diamonds“,  from Phantogram’s first album, with the addition of upbeat percussion and a slightly sinister keyboard sound.  Barthel’s voice builds from inaudible whispering gasps to stronger vocals throughout the entire track.  The end result is hypnotic.  Finally, the last two songs appear quite different from the rest.  “Nightlife” begins with bare acoustic guitar.  Layers of synth, vocals, and electro buzz are added later, but it is still a very different song compared to other songs on the album.  “Dark Tunnel” features more of Carter on vocals than any other song.

    Nightlife is an alluring collection of songs that hypnotize the listener in a sonic, rhythmic trip.  The tracks are fresh, full of life and intrigue. This album is definitely the continuation of a great premier album from Phantogram.  Nightlife releases to the general public on 11/1/11 via Barsuk Records. We’ll leave you with the video for “Mouthful Of Diamonds”, off Phantogram’s Eyelid Movies album. Watch it below tour dates.

    Phantogram tour dates:
    10/20/11 – Millvale, PA
 – Mr. Small’s Theater – with Exitmusic
    10/21/11 – Columbus, OH
 – Outland on Liberty – with Exitmusic
    10/22/11 – Ann Arbor, MI
 – Blind Pig – with Exitmusic
    10/23/11 – Chicago, IL
 – Metro – with Reptar & Exitmusic
    10/24/11 – Madison, WI
 – High Noon Saloon – with Reptar
    10/26/11 – Minneapolis, MN
 – First Avenue – with Reptar
    10/27/11 – Omaha, NE
 – Waiting Room – with Reptar
    10/28/11 – Denver, CO
 – Marquis Theater – with Reptar
    10/29/11 – Salt Lake City, UT
 – Urban Lounge – with Reptar
    11/01/11 – Sacramento, CA
 – Harlow’s – with Reptar
    11/02/11 – San Francisco, CA – 
Fillmore – with Reptar
    11/03/11 – Santa Barbara, CA
 – SOhO Restaurant and Music Club – with Reptar
    11/04/11 – Los Angeles, CA
 – Music Box – with Reptar
    11/05/11 – Phoenix, AZ
 – Crescent Ballroom – with Reptar
    11/06/11 – Santa Fe, NM – 
SOL – with Reptar
    11/08/11 – Dallas, TX
 – Loft – with Reptar
    11/09/11 – Austin, TX
 – Mohawk – with Reptar
    11/10/11 Houston, TX
 – Fitzgerald’s with Reptar
    11/11/11 Baton Rouge, LA
 – Spanish Moon with Reptar
    11/12/11 Birmingham, AL – 
Work Play Theatre with Reptar
    11/13/11 Atlanta, GA
 – Masquerade with Reptar
    11/15/11 Carboro, NC
 – Cat’s Cradle with Exitmusic
    11/16/11 Washington, DC – 
Black Cat with Exitmusic
    11/17/11 Philadelphia, PA
 – Union Transfer with Exitmusic
    11/18/11 Hoboken, NJ
 – Maxwell’s with Exitmusic
    11/19/11 Boston, MA
 – Royale with Exitmusic
    11/20/11 S. Burlington, VT
 – Higher Ground with Exitmusic

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