Phantogram – “Mister Impossible”

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Phantogram have stayed relatively quiet over the past three years. Their last album, Three, came out in 2016. Last year, they shared one new song alongside a Sparklehorse cover to benefit the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. But it looks like Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel are gaining momentum again. Back in May, … More »

Phantogram take emotional inventory with new track, ‘Into Happiness’ [Review]

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Phantogram take emotional inventory with new track, ‘Into Happiness’ [Review]Phantogram

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.

Photo Credit: Charles Reagan Hackleman

Mamby On The Beach shares new location and lineup: ZHU, Virtual Self, Phantogram + more

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Mamby On The Beach shares new location and lineup: ZHU, Virtual Self, Phantogram + moreMamby On The Beach 1

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

Photo Credit: Mamby On The Beach

Phantogram – “Into Happiness”

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Phantogram - "Into Happiness"New Phantogram music has been scarce lately. Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel shared one new song alongside a Sparklehorse cover last year to benefit the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, but in the past three years that’s been it. The New York duo had accepted the Public Awareness Award at the … More »

ODESZA, Phantogram, Lane 8, and more top CRSSD festival’s spring 2019 lineup

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ODESZA, Phantogram, Lane 8, and more top CRSSD festival’s spring 2019 lineupCRSSD FEST 1

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.

ODESZA, Phantogram, Lane 8, and more top CRSSD festival’s spring 2019 lineupCRSSD

Sunday Morning Medicine Vol 154, with Beach House, Pretty Lights, Phantogram, + more

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Sunday Morning Medicine Vol 154, with Beach House, Pretty Lights, Phantogram, + moreSMM 2400

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 Classic Chrome 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.

 

Phantogram – “Someday” & “Saturday” (Sparklehorse Cover)

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Earlier this week, Phantogram accepted the Public Awareness Award at the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention’s annual Lifesavers Gala for their work in raising mental health awareness after Sarah Barthel’s sister died by suicide. Today, they’re releasing a two-song digital single, with all the proceeds going towards the AFSP. More »

Live stream Justice’s headlining performance from Google’s I/O conference

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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.

Stream Justice’s performance here.  

The 50 Best Music Videos Of 2017

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In this space in past years, I’ve usually written about which music-video directors had the best years. It’s a variation of the auteur theory, as visionaries like Nabil and Hiro Murai have used artists as vehicles for their ideas and approaches. This year, though, it feels like the artists themselves who are driving things, and … More »

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

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There are many different opinions on just how bad Taylor Swift’s new song is, and the general consensus is: Pretty bad. And now I’m living in mortal fear of her new video also being bad. I don’t know why this should concern me. Swift has made bad videos for almost her entire career. She … More »