Published on June 19th, 2014


Phantogram_by Timothy Saccenti

Credit: Timothy Saccenti

Named for a specific optical illusion when two-dimensional images are combined to appear as three-dimensional, Phantogram is an indie electro-pop duo whose sound transcends the expectations of a two-piece. Infusing hypnotic hip-hop beats with otherworldly guitar riffs and wickedly ambient vocals, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter together paint an urban atmosphere and pace that can walk you through the streets of NYC. Appropriately so, since Sarah and Josh both call New York their home. You may, however, not believe they recorded such hard-hitting tunes in the seclusion of their unconventional barn studio located upstate.

Since their debut album Eyelid Movies in 2009, they have released two EPs and their most recent full length album Voices in February of 2014. They have stayed true to their sound that has earned them recognition with early hits such as When I’m Small, while still managing to push themselves and grow into the bolder sound that is Black Out Days. Sarah’s vocals have pushed beyond her subtle siren serenades with her angelic harmonies and fearless wails, which have become the driving force behind their rising-up-from-the-ashes lyrics.

Josh’s guitar melodies float and weave through the hip-hop beats and bass lines, injecting a psych-rock ambience to warm up the atmosphere of their street influenced groove. Their multi-faceted sound has drawn the attention and interest of icons from the opposite worlds of hip-hop and psychedelia that they manage to successfully combine. Recent collaborations with Big Boi of Outkast (with promises of more in the future!), and also with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips exercises their versatility and has shaped them into producers beyond their own work.

Deep into an ambitious tour, Phantogram has been jumping state lines and oceans promoting their new album and evolving their live show. Reflective of their chosen identity, they use a very simple combination of lights, mirrors, and fog to create optical illusions that are as visually impactful as their sound.

Phantogram play with Bad Things at Grand Central in Miami on Saturday, June 28, 8pm.  |  RSVP

~ Danielle Romanowski & Brittanny Larevitzear