After releasing "Fall In Love" as a single, and a music video for "Black Out Days," upstate New York duo Phantogram released their sophomore album, Voices, today. Stream it in full above, courtesy of Spotify.
As it's been nearly five years since their debut album, Eyelid Movies, was released, Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel's music has had quite some time to evolve. In the interim, they've collaborated with Big Boi and The Flaming Lips, released two EPs, and toured extensively, so although this is their first new LP in a while, Phantogram have been far from stagnating.
Kicking off with three genre-mashing, upbeat numbers, the beginning of Voices is very easy on the ears, with slower, more melancholic songs later offering respite from the happy-go-lucky tunes. The first of these, "Never Going Home," sees Carter taking lead vocals from Barthel and crafting an atmospheric ballad reminiscent of M83's more subdued moments. Voices is, without a doubt, the most consistently bummed-out Phantogram release yet, and it's interesting to see the more depressed side of the usually-upbeat indie poppers.
The other biggest change Phantogram has undergone for Voices is an upgrade in fidelity. Switching from indie label Barsuk to Universal Music Group imprint Republic, the band has clearly had access to more expensive recording equipment, as well as the talents of prolific pop producer John Hill (who's worked with Shakira, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and P!nk, among others). Phantogram's music is, first and foremost, still indie pop, but this time around, there's a much bigger emphasis on the latter genre.