According to Wikipedia, a Phantogram is essentially an optical illusion. However, Phantogram, the electro-trip hop band consisting of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter have proven to be much more than meets the eye. Over the course of three albums and a handful of extended plays, Phantogram has blurred the lines between multiple genres and continued to gain momentum as music lovers embrace their sound more every day. They proceeded to gain some notoriety as a crossover Band in the Alternative Rock and EDM genres before taking a sharp turn into Hip-Hop with none other than Big Boi of OutKast. On the heels of this hugely successful project (Titled Big Grams (Big Boi and Phantogram get it?) Phantogram dropped their most recent release “Three”; a body of work that reveals a darker side to their sound, adding nuance and allure to their catalog. This album takes you on an emotional journey, exploring death and the wake it can leave in our lives on tracks like “Cruel World” and the track before “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” leaves you stuck with that hungover and uneasy feeling that stems from a night of meaningless parting. The message I take away from the album is “you have to take the good with the bad” in this go round of life.
This feeling came through in the live performance as well. Stark contrast between light and dark, illustrated by surges of bright, monochromatic lighting and a spartan, almost deserted stage gave the songs physical space to be presented to the audience. Phantogram is going to continue to grow and change over the years right before the eyes of the world, and it might be by design, because remember a Phantogram is essentially a form of an optical illusion.
Foreign Air opened and blew everyone away with their astrological dance tracks like “free animal” and “caffeine”. DMNDR caught these guys opening for HONNE last year in NYC and the buzz around the office is that they’re a band to watch in 2017, with DMNDR founder John Belitsky calling them “hands down one of the best working bands in music today”. Look to see them headlining large shows very soon.