Phantogram: Voices

Phantogram: Voices

(Republic, 2/18/14)

"Black-Out Days"


Debuting in 2009 to critical and industry acclaim, electro-pop duo Phantogram is back with its long-awaited second LP (which follows a handful of well-received EPs). And appropriately for a record titled Voices, the vocal content stands out in a big way.

Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel each have powerful voices, and they’re the focus here. Opener “Nothing but Trouble” fades into a simple beat over a distorted melody before Barthel takes over, driving the majority of the track with her breathy vocals. Carter takes “Never Going Home” to an unexpectedly bright place, making the title a paean. Stylistically, the band also branches out further on Voices, integrating moments of garage rock and classic balladry — making one of the best pop records of the year so far.