Electronic pop group Phantogram have released Three. This is the group’s third full length studio album (not including their 2015 collaboration with Outkast’s Big Boi called Big Grams).
Throughout their career the duo have proved to be extremely versatile, combining wide-ranging genres ranging from electronic pop to hip hop and hard rock. On this new album they present a more polished and mainstream sound, for better or for worse.
The LP contains ten tracks covering a brisk 33 minutes. Band members Josh Carter (vocals, guitars) and Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboards) spoke to rapper Vince Staples about the creative process for Interview Magazine:
[Josh Carter] I think a lot of what we do musically is about juxtaposition and contrast. So it’s about, even sonically, bringing pieces of music or sound that have a heavy contrast from one another and making it work. A lot of the new album comes from a very tragic viewpoint, as we lost a dear person this year. It’s kind of—even the artwork—it’s a beautiful tragedy, like a beautiful car crash. It’s white and blue skies but a big fire. [Sarah Barthel] We definitely tend to gravitate toward writing more on the darker side of life, but also incorporate the light at the end of the tunnel; you can see a positive in it. Music for us is very therapeutic, it’s very cathartic. We’re not a band that wants to write about how the sun is shining and life is beautiful—[we’re not] as direct as that. We tend to use our music as therapy, in a way. You can definitely hear it on this last record.
Three features strong production and dance-heavy electronic beats which support Barthel’s talented vocals. Mellow and dark moods surround many of the songs, reminiscent of Massive Attack and Portishead, while there is also a pop-friendly quality with catchy hooks and melodies.
Pick up Three on Amazon, via Republic Records. You can also stream the full album for free above, via Spotify.
For Phantogram’s latest music, news, and tour dates, check out their Zumic artist page.