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Saratoga Springs, NY

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Phantogram is an electronic rock duo from upstate New York whose music incorporates psychedelic pop vocals, J Dilla-style hip-hop beats, and shoegazing sensibility. Founded in 2007 and based in Saratoga Springs, NY, the duo is comprised of longtime friends Josh Carter (guitar, vocals) and Sarah Barthel (keyboards, vocals), who originally hail from the nearby small town of Greenwich, NY. Originally known as Charlie Everywhere and associated with the local independent label Sub-Bombin Records, the duo released the eponymous Phantogram EP in March 2009 and sparked widespread interest with two songs in particular, "Mouthful of Diamonds" and "When I'm Small." Phantogram subsequently released the Running from the Cops EP in May 2009 on the international label BBE Records. The duo finally made its full-length album debut with Eyelid Movies (2010), an 11-track album featuring the four previously released EP songs "Mouthful of Diamonds," "When I'm Small," "Running from the Cops," and "Bloody Palms." The album was released internationally by BBE Records, domestically by Barsuk Records, and on vinyl by Ghostly International. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide’s music sounds like it’s made by a band from the city. Electronic loops, hiphopbeats, shoegaze, soul, pop – each finds its way into their songs. Unexpectedly, theband doesn’t live and work in a major urban center, but rather calls the town of SaratogaSprings, NY (population 26,186) home. Despite the cultural influence of local SkidmoreCollege (where fellow beat-experimenters Ratatat formed) and a relatively small sceneof adventurous musicians and listeners, Saratoga isn’t exactly teeming with fans of J.Dilla, My Bloody Valentine or Serge Gainsbourg.But Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, the duo that make up Phantogram and who grew upin the even smaller nearby municipality of Greenwich, have flourished in Saratoga. Infact, the town itself isn’t rural enough for their taste – they drive almost every dayanother 45 minutes into upstate farmland to a barn they call Harmony Lodge to write andrecord. Serving as their homemade studio/practice space/think-tank/bat-cave, the barn isequipped with various samplers, tapes, records, synths, drums, and both percussive andstringed instruments. It’s there that Phantogram allows their natural surroundings andmetropolitan influences to meld together creating beautiful, beat-driven dreamlike popsongs. The band even references dreams when describing both the lyrics and sonics of theirown music, and the process of making it: “We ran across a description of dreamssomewhere that used the phrase ‘eyelid movies’ – and it really struck us both assomething that fit our music,” notes Barthel, while Carter explains further: “Daydreams,the spots you see moving around when your eyes are closed tight, and the shapes yousee in the world – those are the kinds of things we want to surface in your mind whenyou hear a Phantogram song.” Hard to say from song to song whether the dreams are entirely pleasant or nightmarish(there tends to be a bleak undercurrent of loneliness and isolation in much of the band’swork, counter-balanced by bright moments of swagger and joy), but this music iscertainly vivid and exciting – springing as it does from an unpredictable mix oftechnological and organic roots.For more information, contact:Ever Kippever@barsuk.com206.322.7785
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