Erich said, You gotta check out this band; you gotta review their EP. End paraphrase. Having recently noted the band’s signing to Barsuk, it seemed the logical next step. In anticipation of that future record, slated for an early 2010 release, it just made sense. Besides, there’s substantial overlap between the self-titled EP and the pending full-length, Eyelid Movies. Of the five tracks on the EP, four find their way onto that album of eleven total songs. I’m here to say that the EP is still totally worth it.
This duo, consisting of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, are masters of dark, hypnotic beats. Bordering trip-hop, and plentiful with mystic synths, there is no weak point on this EP. Phantogram dishes out one mesmerizing hit after another. “When I’m Small” borders on hypnotic shoegaze, while “Bloody Palms” hints at a hip-hop influence before reverting back to swirling, dreamy synth loops. “Running From The Cops” drops in an eerie vocal pattern, and opener “Mouthful Of Diamonds” is just plain excellent. And then there’s “Voices”, the sole track not on the forthcoming 2010 release. It’s a bit more upbeat than its predecessors, but it holds its weight; a more than viable b-side.
Phantogram may ultimately be overshadowed by the upcoming Eyelid Movies – after all, dropping your debut LP on Barsuk is nothing to scoff at – but it is a great introduction to a band that holds expectations high, and promises more good things. Thankfully we only have to wait until February for them to arrive.
CE Records [CDEP, 2009]
1. Mouthful Of Diamonds
2. Running From The Cops
3. When I’m Small
4. Bloody Palms