Tagged: Phantogram

Featurette – Upside Down

A beauty of an off-kilter track from Canadian electronic duo Featurette, Upside Down is an ode to the strangely mixed-up world we live in nowadays.

The Toronto-based pair of Lexie Jay and Jon Fedorsen create a richly-layed sound that is synth-heavy, slick and smooth, yet with an air of unpredictability that makes it a less than comfortable first listen but goes on to get well and truly stuck in your brain. In that sense, it’s a little Phantogram-esque… and that’s a very good thing.

Featurette – Upside Down

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Skott – Mermaid

Heading up our latest Sync List, the new song from Swedish singer-songwriter Skott has all the ethereal beauty of her earlier songs Porcelain and Glitter & Gloss, building delicately to something of altogether epic proportions. There’s a hint of Lana Del Ray to start with, some Kate Bush-esque magic too, but really, Mermaid signifies more of a confirmation in earnest of Skott’s very own distinctive style.

Hearing her live is believing – those high notes really are that flawless when she performs. Shortly heading to the US for a couple of support slots with the mighty Phantogram, her next UK headline show in London on 13 September is sold out but fans can track her down supporting on her autumn tour dates in Bristol (23 October), Glasgow (24), Manchester (25), London (27), Norwich (28), and Birmingham (29).

Skott – Mermaid

LIVE: Phantogram, o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (4/4/17)


It was as recent as November that New York duo Phantogram were last in London as one of a few dates on a UK tour. This time, their stopover was even more brief as it was the only UK show of their European tour. Last time they packed out the ‘under the arches’ venue Heaven, but this time around were in the somewhat more spacious environs of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire… not that it felt especially spacious, with a close-to-sell-out crowd packing out the stalls.

Their particular brand of bombastic beats, rock riffs and swirling synths puts the band in a fairly unique place – too dark to be considered pop, yet not really a natural fit for the rock, electronic or indie tags either. Lyrically, the tone is certainly on the bleak side, but that’s counterbalanced with a fierce, high octane sound that makes their live show such a compelling one.

A little late to the stage – as seems to be their style – Phantogram rattled through a 75-minute set that was full of energy and volume. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter manage to keep the between-song chatter to a minimum. Sometimes, this can create a sense of aloofness from a band but somehow, they still seem to manage a strong connection with fans old and new. The setlist kept fans from both camps happy too. There were tracks from the early days such as Mouthful of Diamonds and When I’m Small from 2009 debut album Eyelid Movies, as well as a generous helping of new material from most recent album Three, including Same Old Blues, Destroyer, and Run Run Blood.

They saved the best for last though with a three-song encore that capped the evening superbly. Firstly, Carter took up the vocal duties for the intense and mesmerising Barking Dog, before what was perhaps Barthel’s peak moment of the night with the wonderfully-sung Cruel World. They wrapped up with their uptempo anthem You Don’t Get Me High Anymore, performed with the kind of bounce and swagger that’s only possible when a band knows it has a seriously great song to end with.

Plaitum – Ovation

Here’s a monster of a track from London electronica duo Plaitum. We first caught sight of the band when they supported Phantogram on their UK/Europe dates late last year and they certainly blew the cobwebs from the arches at London’s Heaven.

Ovation is taken from their forthcoming debut album Constraint which is due for release on 7 April. We predict it will be a noisy, essential and life-affirming affair!

Plaitum – Ovation

TOP TEN TRACKS OF 2016: (6) Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

US duo Phantogram burst back onto the scene this year with their third album – cunningly titled Three – and this lead single certainly grabbed our attention. Bursting with edge, energy and attitude, You Don’t Ger Me High Anymore marked a shift towards a more polished, highly produced sound.

It set the tone for another of our favourite albums from the past 12 months, which also features subsequent singles Run Run Blood and the brilliant Cruel World. (See also, live review)

Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

LIVE: Phantogram (Heaven, London, 16/11/16)

imag0682-2US duo Phantogram released their stomping dark-pop album Three last month and have taken it on the road for a tour that has taken in the US, Europe and a four-date UK schedule. The London leg sold out underneath the arches at Heaven and was a chance to hear the diversity of a band that can scale the extremes of emotion and raw energy.

The sweet yet powerful lead vocals of Sarah Barthel are something of a focal point for much of their live performance, yet Josh Carter’s stage presence dominates at other times. Several tracks from Three stood out. The kicked off with album opener Funeral Pyre and also included Same Old Blues, Answer, You’re Mine and Destroyer.

They also more than adequately delved into their back catalogue – importantly for the fans who rarely get to see them live so seldom are their visits to the UK (not counting their support slot on a couple of dates on Muse‘s Drones tour earlier this year). Black Out Days, Howling at the Moon and Bad Dreams all figured from 2014’s Voices album, while Mouthful of Diamonds and the superb When I’m Small from their 2010’s Eyelid Movies also got an airing.

imag0701-2There were also a couple of gems from their 2011 EP NightlifeDon’t Move and Turning Into Stone – before a four song encore brought us back to the present by including recent single Cruel World and ending with the epic You Don’t Get Me High Anymore.

The New Yorkers gave an assured performance that was slick and engaging, albeit lacking a little of the personality that we know they have in abundance. For a band that visits these shores so rarely, a tad more interaction between songs would have been good for the loyalists among the fans, but really this is nitpicking. They put on a great show, superbly bringing their powerful and atmospheric sound to life. We’re already hoping they don’t leave it nearly so long to return next time.

Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore


Phantogram – Cruel World

Ok, so it may be the second time inside a month that we’ve featured New York indie-electronica duo Phantogram on Sync, but we can’t help it when they keep releasing tracks like this.

Cruel World is the third tune to be released from their forthcoming album Three, which is due for release on 7 October. For a sense of why this eagerly-anticipated album is likely to be such a stormer, take a listen to You Don’t Get Me High Anymore and Run Run Blood.

Phantogram – Cruel World

Phantogram – Run Run Blood

More proof if proof were needed that Phantogram‘s forthcoming album Three (out 19 September) is going to be a corker is provided by this latest offering.

Run Run Blood has a more brooding, darkly menacing tone than previous track You Don’t Get Me High Anymore, but has all the punch and attitude that we’re expecting the album to deliver by the bucketload.

The US indie-electronica duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter will be touring across Europe in November, with the UK leg taking in visits to Brighton (14), London (16), Manchester (17), and Glasgow (18).

Phantogram – Run Run Blood

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

US indie-electronica duo Phantogram (Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter) have announced details of their new album Three, due for release on 16 September, as well as an upcoming UK tour towards the end of the year that will include stops in Brighton (14 November), London (16), Manchester (17), and Glasgow (18).

We’re loving the stomping lead single You Don’t Get Me High Anymore and look forward to hearing more from the album.

Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore