By Jason Grishkoff | April 21st, 2010
Comparing a band to Portishead, Zero 7 and Blond Redhead can be pretty challenging — each band has it’s own distinct sound that many have failed to replicate with much success. Saratoga duo Joshua Carter and Sarah Barthel, however, have managed to blend the three together (and more) to release a phenomenal debut album, “Eyelid Movies”. Using minimal beats, lush synthesizers, psychedelic art-rock and an interchange of male-female vocals, Phantogram has created an innovative sound of epic quality.
Eyelid Movies’ finest moments are when Barthel is allowed to fully utilise her voice. As Far As I Can See, the album’s standout track, is an incredible electro-soul slacker anthem which expertly blends cut-up brassy samples, thudding loops and exquisite, honeyed singing. Final track 10,000 Claps is as good, if completely different, and brilliantly incongruous – maudlin piano and a timbre more at home on a Sparklehorse record combine effectively with Barthel now affecting an alt-folk lilt.
A refreshing, unusual and diverting first record from two new talents, then, and one to recommend for jaded electro and indie fans who felt the New York scene had gone as far as it could with art-skronk.”
- Lou Thomas of BBC