Eyelid Movies
(Indica Records)

Spun: Phantogram

Publication YearIssue Date 

What a perfect album title. The electro-pop duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel have crafted a densely atmospheric album that only gets better as the sun goes down. With equal parts Portishead and Au Revoir Simone, the pair seamlessly mix live instruments with synths to create a vibrant neon blanket of sound. Each song is its own mini-movie mood piece.

Phantogram's self-described 'street beat psych pop' is summed up perfectly in "Mouthful of Diamonds" and "As Far as I Can See," which add layer upon layer of percussion, independent melodies and inspired technical flourishes. While both take turns sharing the vocals, Barthel's angelic hazy voice better suits the dreamy, mellow ballads. Carter handles the darker, more paranoid numbers well, but they jar slightly with the soft beauty of the album.

Though Eyelid Movies certainly sounds like a first album, one can hear the three years the band spent working towards it. Phantogram makes their influences obvious, but each relaxed winding-down tune carries its own identity. At times cold and sparse, the songs never fail to double back into a lush, warm buzz. Typical to the genre, the lyrics are unremarkable at best, but sometimes all you need is a room draped in darkness, a good pair of speakers and a thick wall of sound.