Phantogram

Voices (Barsuk)

SXSW 2014 Records

Phantogram

Voices (Barsuk)

Phantogram's 2010 debut Eyelid Movies wasn't an album to sing along to. After maybe hundreds of listens to arresting standout "When I'm Small," yours truly still can't tell you what Sarah Barthel is crooning through the sexy production swirl. Never did it occur to me that it might be important. The New York duo's second LP, Voices, corrects that small oversight. As suggested by the title, Barthel and Josh Carter stretch their roles as vocalists without sacrificing the dance-floor noir that made their career. Phantogram plays its pair of aces, "Black Out Days" and "Fall in Love," back-to-back and only four minutes into the album. The song pair is a bricolage of 2013's best electronic pop ideas, as if Phantogram has been taking careful notes on Chvrches and Sky Ferreira. And this time, Barthel isn't drowning in the production flood. "Bill Murray" and "Never Going Home" truly drop the screen for the vocalists, both as sparse as Phantogram will venture, and still entrancing.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Phantogram
Friday SOS Record Reviews
Phantogram
Three (Fiction/Republic)

Kahron Spearman, Nov. 4, 2016

SXSW Records
Phantogram
Eyelid Movies (Record Review)

Audra Schroeder, March 19, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Warm Sugar
Warm Sugar (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Harlem
Oh Boy (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, March 22, 2019

More by Abby Johnston
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Phantogram

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle