Upstate NY-based duo Phantogram, consisting of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, issued a couple of EPs in 2009 that quickly gained critical acclaim, in particular with the song "When I'm Small", and now finally comes the US release of their debut album, which was released in late 2009 in overseas markets. If you're not familiar with the band's sound, think Portishead or even Neon Indian.
"Eyelid Movies" (11 tracks; 45 min.) starts off with a blast, an upbeat "Mouthful of Diamonds", followed by their best song, the earlier-mentioned "When I'm Small" (both from their March '09 EP), the latter being so infectious, you just want to play it over and over again. But great tracks follow one after another, "Turn It Off", with great off-beat underlying drums. "Running From the Cops" is another great trip-hop tune. "All Dried Up" provides a breather to give way to "As Far As I Can See", yet another mesmerizing track, what a great fabulous first half of the album. The second half starts off with the only clunker on this album, "You Are the Ocean", a 5+ min. track that goes nowhere and has mediocre lyrics to boot ("This song is about you/Cuz I can't live without you"). But the best is yet to come after that, with "Bloody Palms", which is a coulda-shoulda be major radio single (if mainstream radio were any good, which of course it isn't), and "Futuristic Casket", another irresistible trip-hop track. The album closes with the pensive "10,000 Claps".
In all, I can't emphasize enough how impressed and charmed I am with this debut album of Phantogram. Sure to make my end of the year "best of" list, and quite high on it. Can't wait to see this band live at some point. If you wonder where you can hear this band, check out WOXY (BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll), the internet-only station that brings the best indie-music in the country. Meanwhile "Eyelid Movies" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!