Five years ago, Sarah Barthel returned to her upstate New York home after becoming frustrated with the visual arts program she was pursuing in college. Back in Saratoga Springs, Barthel reconnected with junior high pal Josh Carter, who had left New York City following a short run with an experimental band. The two old friends quickly crafted songs around some skeletal beats that Carter had assembled and formed a band to cement their collaboration, starting out as Charlie Everywhere and switching to Phantogram in 2009.
Armed with an eclectic array of influences (Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, J Dilla, The Beatles, Yes and Cocteau Twins among them), keyboardist Barthel and guitarist Carter began churning out their blend of Indie and Electronic Pop with a pair of well received EPs before signing with Barsuk and releasing their debut LP, 2009’s Eyelid Movies.
In relatively short order, the duo added touring drummer Tim Oakley, shared stages with the likes of Caribou, Ra Ra Riot, Beach House and Metric and earned rave notices at festivals including Lollapalooza, Coachella and Bumbershoot.
With last year’s six-song Nightlife, Phantogram lightened their atmosphere slightly while continuing to weave a fascinating sonic tapestry colored by threads of Chillwave, ephemeral Synth Pop and beat-driven sampledelica. In the design sense, a phantogram is a two-dimensional image that appears to be multi-dimensional. In the musical sense, Phantogram is a duo that sounds like an airy yet totally engaging Pop orchestra with dimensionality to spare.
PHANTOGRAM performs Sunday, June 10 at Bogart's in Corryville. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.