• R. Helgason

A powerful musical duo that moves at its own pace.

Phantogram is a talented musical duo that mixes multiple genres. Originally from Saratoga Springs NY, the band consists of Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboards) and Joshua Carter (guitar, vocals). Although it would be impossible to put their music in any specific category, we could potentially describe it as a tasteful blend of psychedelic melodies, trip-hop beats, and organic textures.

Sarah and Josh were friends since junior high school. Sarah pursued a visual arts degree while Josh formed the experimental band Grand Habit. In the summer of 2007, they reunited and worked on finishing some beat ideas Carter made earlier. The duo was originally called Charlie Everywhere when performing around the Upstate NY area on the local label Sub-Bombin Records. When they signed to BBE Records they changed the name to Phantogram, to avoid legal issues.

The pair had no pedigree as previous members of lauded bands or grand industry connections when they wrote the songs that became 2010’s sleeper success story Eyelid Movies. They simply had a clear vision and the talent to back up their artistic ambitions.

Their latest album Ceremony is without a doubt their best work to date. The album instantly gets you hooked with the track “Dear God,” one of the most upbeat songs of the album, only to take you to unexpected and almost uncomfortable places with tracks like Mr. Impossible. A song that clearly shows how they have taken their songwriting to the next level.

The album ends with Ceremony, a hauntingly beautiful song that seems to drag you into a mysterious world. A world you might not want to leave.