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Phantogram: Voices (Album Review)

When you think of Phantogram, you’d never imagine the source of their sound would be a rural setting. Surprisingly, the pair—Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter—record their music in a barn in upstate New York, near where they grew up. Combining an electronic pulse with steamy vocals, their music is more suitable for a late-night, big city drive than a rustic getaway.

Their latest album, Voices, showcases more maturity and focus than their previous work. This time they seem to delve into a heavier sound with a lot more dark, bass-laden tracks and a slew of down-tempo songs that are as close to ballads as the electronic duo could get. Whereas their previous album, 2010′s Eyelid Movies, displayed a variety of styles, Voices lacks a bit of spontaneity, but gives us a more cohesive collection of music with more attention to details.

Right off the bat, you’re hit with the powerful, high-energy Nothing But Trouble which sets the stage for the rest of the album’s haunting tone. The most recognizable single for which they’ve recently released a video, Fall In Love, is probably the most rhythmic and dance-worthy track with jagged synths and a pounding bassline, but also switches gears to lighter sections until you’re hit again with the aggressive chorus. Shortly after that, the album takes a more subdued, almost somber tone until the very end. The curiously titled Bill Murray is a passionate track that harnesses Phantogram’s dreaminess, but is more melancholy than the comedian it is named after.

When you think of Phantogram, you’d never imagine the source of their sound would be a rural setting. Surprisingly, the pair—Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter—record their music in a barn in upstate New York, near where they grew up. Combining an electronic pulse with steamy vocals, their music is more suitable for a late-night, big city drive than a rustic getaway.

Their latest album, Voices, showcases more maturity and focus than their previous work. This time they seem to delve into a heavier sound with a lot more dark, bass-laden tracks and a slew of down-tempo songs that are as close to ballads as the electronic duo could get. Whereas their previous album, 2010′s Eyelid Movies, displayed a variety of styles, Voices lacks a bit of spontaneity, but gives us a more cohesive collection of music with more attention to details.

Right off the bat, you’re hit with the powerful, high-energy Nothing But Trouble which sets the stage for the rest of the album’s haunting tone. The most recognizable single for which they’ve recently released a video, Fall In Love, is probably the most rhythmic and dance-worthy track with jagged synths and a pounding bassline, but also switches gears to lighter sections until you’re hit again with the aggressive chorus. Shortly after that, the album takes a more subdued, almost somber tone until the very end. The curiously titled Bill Murray is a passionate track that harnesses Phantogram’s dreaminess, but is more melancholy than the comedian it is named after.