Coming off a relatively quiet streak, electronic rock duo Phantogram capitalize on their return with their latest one-off of the year, “In a Spiral”. The track follows earlier singles, “Into Happiness” and “Mister Impossible.” Recognized for their dark psychedelic blend of rock and electronica, the duo—comprised of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter— broke onto the scene with 2010 debut album Eyelid Movies and continued to push an eclectically haunting sound. Despite a lack of music output, the New York-based act recently concluded a 25-date North American tour and are slated for additional show dates and festival slots. Their last studio album Three was released in 2016.
Equipped with a steady rock beat and bedazzled with trippy synths, “In a Spiral” brings forth an admittedly candid expression of electronic rock. Groovy guitar lines juxtapose distorted vocal chops as choir synths provide the backdrop to Barthel’s dark lyricism. Carrying silent intensity, the track melds its upbeat energy with the sullen nature of its theme.
“‘In a Spiral’ started from a beat that Josh had in his back pocket for quite some time, which I had gravitated to immediately and written some vocal ideas for. But the song was waiting for the right moment to reveal itself to us. We threw it on at the last minute while we were preparing to go record in Joshua Tree at the magical Rancho de la Luna with our friend Boots, and once we got out there everything started to fall into place,” stated Barthel.
It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.
Dillon Francis pumps his fans up this NMF with a remix of Saweetie’s “My Type,” and Mat Zo reveals his long-anticipated “Emotion Sickness.” Lane 8 showcases another brilliant single in “Sunday Song,” and Lost Kings, Sevyn Streeter and Luh Kel get the party started with “LA & The Parties.” Matt Lange and Kerry Leva reveal their blissful collaboration, “Every Word,” and Vincent and Naderi waste no time on their new powerful single, “Wasted Time.” Spooky dubstep returns for October in Figure and Dubscribe’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Chris Lorenzo tries his hand at drum ‘n’ bass production in “Take Me as I Am.” MitiS and RUNN craft a gorgeous soundscape on “Shattered,” and Chrome Sparks remixes Whethan and The Knocks’ “Summer Luv.” Dash Berlin shines on a new remix of Myon and ICON’s “Cold Summer,” and Morgan Page, Matt Fax, and Lissie take “The Longest Road To The Ground.” TroyBoi gets intense on his new single, “The Truth,” and Armin van Buuren and Cimo Frankel offer a dreamy trance collaboration, “All Comes Down.”
As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.
Electronic/rock crossover duo, Phantogram, have a spellbinding propensity for sonic shadow play. The duo has reemerged with their first release of 2019, “Into Happiness.” The track supersedes the group’s recent announcement of a 25-date North American tour through the US and Canada.
The song weaves members, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter’s voices into its fibers for a multi-toned jaunt through the length of their emotional pallets. Where Carter’s intonations represent the tumultuously melancholic mental state the group has been openly grappling with since their Three LP of 2016, Barthel’s ring with bliss. Her ecstatic vocal/synth hook (“Fall into happiness / …No more loneliness”) swells through the chorus like a melodic rush of blood to the veins after a prolonged period of dopamine depravity. But still a darkness looms in the dream pop foundation, as Barthel’s lucid sweetness intertwines with Carter’s pain-clad clamors through the interludes, evocative of the non-linear, cyclical nature of sadness.
The darkness ensconcing Phantogram’s members (and inevitably their music) came to a crest after the death of a family member while the duo was recording Three. In 2018, the group paid tribute to Barthel’s sister, who died by suicide, issuing standalone single, “Someday,” with a portion of proceeds going to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Barthel addressed the organization on death, particularly suicide, as a pervasive theme in her life, and its overall reverberative nature.
“Suicide is really complicated, because in a way, it’s like an illness people blame on themselves,” said Barthel. “Mental health conditions are just as powerful as physical illnesses. What’s dangerous is that people aren’t as educated about it.”
“Into Happiness” is a cogent return to light. Though the shroud remains in part. That’s precisely the paradox that allows Phantogram to haunt a head space long after the record stops spinning.
Tickets and information about the tour can be found here.
A wealth of new developments are in store for the fifth anniversary of Mamby On The Beach, a lakefront favorite festival for Chicago’s niche music lovers.
This year, the double-day alcove of electronic, indie, and hip-hop acts will move to Montrose Beach on Chicago’s North side August 23-24. Splashed across three stylized stages, the 2019 lineup boasts headliners ZHU, a 3D set from Flying Lotus, Virtual Self, and more.
From the festival’s abundant undercard, indie electronic crossover duo, Phantogram will make a stop at Mamby amid their summer tour with Bob Moses, who will precede their tour partners at the Beach Stage August 24. Fervent up-and-comers Eli & Fur, SOFI TUKKER, Robotaki, and Kasbo appear on this year’s installment alongside longtime electronic eminence like Justin Martin and Sylvan Esso. Several artists from the forthcoming installment have still yet to be announced. However, it’s clear Mamby-goers are in prime position for a pristine fifth pursuit of beach-friendly reverie this summer season.
Two-day, single-day, VIP, and GA passes to Mamby are available here.
2019 Lineup (more to be announced):
A R I Z O N A BOB MOSES BROCKHAMPTON DJ SEINFELD ELI & FUR ELTON EMPRESS OF FLYING LOTUS 3D JOHN SUMMIT JUSTIN MARTIN KASBO MANIFEST MASTERIA NAO PAPG G PHANTOGRAM PHANTOMS QUINN XCII ROBOTAKI ROOSEVELT SAM GELLAITRY SANTIGOLD SMILES DAVIS SOFI TUKKER SOSUPERSAM SUMMER WALKER SYLVAN ESSO THE ACES TIM BARESKO TROYE SIVAN VIRTUAL SELF WAJATTA (Reggie Watts x John Tejada) WASHED OUT (DJ SET) WINDY CITY SOUL CLUB YOKE LORE YOUNG FRANCO ZHU
Organizers on behalf of San Diego’s house-and-techno-hailing CRSSD festival have released the Waterfront Park event’s phase-one lineup. The expansive artistry, including widely received electronic billings, like ODESZA (who will be returning after making their far humbler debut in 2015), Phantogram, and Whethan, exemplifies the once-modest festival’s continued growth in popularity and attendance.
The bi-annual soiree, of which this year’s spring installment is set for Mar 2-3, has seen idiosyncratic acts across the board–from Gesaffelstein to Empire Of The Sun–sweep through its stylistically sectioned stages, The Palms, City Steps, and Ocean View. With a mass of acts still to come, the brimming first batch includes additional support from Petit Biscuit, The Martinez Brothers, Jungle, and more. See the full lineup below.
Tickets to 2019 CRSSD go on sale Tuesday, Dec 11. They’ll be available here.
Lido‘s rendition of Bill Withers’s timeless ballad, “Ain’t No Sunshine” is a warm brush with daylight you won’t dare deplore—no matter how nasty the hangover this Sunday. The Norwegian experimentalist’s raindrop plucks and redemptive synth stabs effortlessly usher in residual weekend splendor.
This wavy Beach House B-side is a Sunday morning must. Victoria Legrand is here to sagely remind us to find “perfection in the accident,” with hazy, rolling chord progression and vapory vocals for the ultimate Sunday subterfuge.
This velvety Future ClassicChrome Sparks offering, “The Meaning Of Love” is a like quixotic trip through the most delicious technicolor clouds. Sparks’s cosmic analog synths furrow and float atop lush, deliberate percussion as our worries of the week begin to dissipate.
The sultan of sampling, aka Pretty Lights, has the sublime synth loops to rectify your most raucous inner voices. Borrowing from a sultry ’70s soul track from La’Fez, Pretty Lights conceives a celestial requiem for your weekend.
From their most recent album, Phantogram‘s “Cruel World” is the ideal vessel for vanquishing Sunday stress of the most pesky existential variety. As the band’s frontwoman, Sarah Barthel, so starkly points out, life can be quite cacophonous; but with a spectral duo like them around, your Sunday playlist doesn’t have to be.
There’s been a steady stream of exciting news pouring out of northern California from Google’s annual I/O conference. The Google Assistant is getting a John Legend upgrade, devices are now being integrated with continued conversational abilities, but perhaps the most exciting part will be a rare live-streamed performance by Justice to close out this year’s event. Justice are expected to take the state at 8:30pm PST and their headlining slot is slated for a full 90-minute set.
The French electro dons are fresh off the release of their mind-bending new animated feature for “Stop,” from 2016’s Woman LP, which is expected to also receive a special live debut during the Ed Banger veterans’ performance. What’s more, the conference closer also includes a supporting set by Phantogram before Justice takes the stage. Ahead of a number of high-profile arena and festival appearances the summer spanning from the UK to Russia, Justice are bringing their awe-striking live show to Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater for fans across the world to stream and enjoy.