Phantogram on New Album, ‘Three’ | Billboard
October 14, 2016 - Finding Carter
Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter need a rest. It’s a comfortable Los Angeles evening, and Phantogram’s singer-keyboardist and producer/multi-instrumentalist are twisted adult atop a bed in a oppulance apartment, reflecting on a year of epic highs and one devastating, personal detriment — a self-murder of Barthel’s comparison sister Becky in January. Tomorrow in Las Vegas, a New York-bred twin kicks off a five-week, 29-date debate forward of a third album, Three.
“The record is about heartbreak,” says Barthel, 33. “The best approach to see it is like a pleasing automobile crash, that for whatever reason creates we delayed down and look.”
Becky, Barthel’s usually sibling, was also a classmate of Carter’s flourishing adult in a pair’s hometown of Greenwich in southwest New York. Details around her flitting sojourn spare, and it’s understandably a supportive subject for Barthel, who gets noticeably inconsolable when deliberating heartbreak as a thesis for their latest work. She’s also wearing a letterman coupler with her sister’s initials, “BB,” on a front and “Bextacy” emblazoned opposite a back.
Listen to Phantogram’s Mysterious New Single ‘Same Old Blues’
Three, that comes out Oct. 7 on Republic Records, isn’t a initial time Phantogram has explored saddening themes. The LP follows 2014’s Voices, that strike No. 3 on Billboard’s Alternative Albums draft and generated a doomy, pulsating singular “Black Out Days.” The pair’s 2009 debut, Eyelid Movies, was a perfection of years of complicated touring, during that Phantogram during times played for audiences of five.
“It’s funny, since we’re both goofballs,” says Barthel. “We’re fun people, though if we usually know us from a music, you’d consider we lay in a dim room.”
Phantogram is a investigate in contrasts, even down to Barthel’s chin-length, two-toned hair. Dressed wholly in black, Barthel and Carter are comfortable and discerning to laugh. Through a band’s rise, it has collaborated with acts as manifold as The Flaming Lips and Big Boi, with whom Phantogram expelled a 2015 LP Big Grams. The contingent also strike a festivals, personification Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Air Style — a festival founded by Barthel’s boyfriend, snowboarder Shaun White.
“We don’t feel pigeonholed to make a specific sound,” says Carter, 34. “We’re not fearful of anything.”
Made during 6 months in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood, a 10 marks on Three try themes of restlessness and mourning. The contrariety between fun and pain, a highs of success and a lows of tragedy are highlighted in “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” that has spent 14 weeks on Alternative Songs and is No. 7 on a Oct. 15 chart. The lane oscillates between a throttling guitar riff evocative of Muse (which Phantogram non-stop for on debate in 2015) and lyrics about automobile crashes, staring into a abyss and increasing chemical intake. “It’s that light and dark, Jekyll-and-Hyde kind of mentality, where there’s a double meaning,” says Carter. It was this song, they say, that set a tinge for a rest of a record.
“In creation this album,” says Carter, “we learned how to trim a lot of fat and get to the point in some-more of a cocktail way.”
Even a manuscript cover, a print Carter took of a fire, illustrates Phantogram’s eagerness to brush romantic disadvantage for meaning. “You don’t know accurately what’s burning, though it’s splendid and beautiful,” says Barthel. “But it also represents a lot of unhappiness and darkness.”
“Ultimately,” adds Carter, “it’s about anticipating a beauty in a darkness.”