Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

You can trip on their synthesizers

Breakout trip-hoppers, Phantogram, will carry the beats to the streets of Minneapolis.

What: Phantogram

When: Friday Oct. 22

Where: Fine Line Music Café

Cost: $15

For Phantogram, musical acclaim has come swiftly. Just last year their fuzzed out, seductive hit, âÄúMouthful of Diamonds,âÄù caught them both radio play and the attention of music-heads, catapulting them into a legitimate musical career. Already, their success has brought them to share the stage with some revered indie names like Yeasayer and the xx. Their well-received debut, âÄúEyelid Movies,âÄù has only amplified the surrounding hype, and Friday theyâÄôll rock the Fine Line as a headliner.

The band, comprised of long-term pals Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, acknowledges that the whirlwind into success has been extremely gratifying.

âÄúIt just means a lot to us that these big, hyped-up bands respect and admire our music so much,âÄù Carter said.

In the never-ending competition of novelty that is indie-rock, the band has a sure artistic edge. TheyâÄôve fashioned an entirely new categorization of sound: Street beat psych-pop. Catchy synth beats and effusive guitar serve as a sort of metronome within each track. This in effect functions to steady the listener for the otherworldly vocals of Carter and Barthel.

âÄúYou can almost imagine yourself walking down the street with this certain swagger and rhythm,âÄù said Carter. âÄúOur music is psychedelic, but it also has a pop sensibility. Call it whatever you want, though; as long as youâÄôre enjoying it, weâÄôre happy.âÄù

The sound is big, enveloping and, quite frankly, hard to imagine being replicated live by two unassuming hipster cuties.

âÄúWe have to make sure we donâÄôt drink too much alcohol before we play because we have a lot of things to remember to do,âÄù said Carter. âÄúItâÄôs basically just a lot of triggering things with our samplers and doing live looping.âÄù

The record, âÄúEyelid Movies,âÄù as a whole projects a synthesized, atmospheric daydream that, while beautiful and seemingly optimistic, is edged with darkness, reminiscent of the Air album, âÄúTalkie Walkie.âÄù

âÄúItâÄôs almost like driving down a deep, dark tunnel with a light at the end of it,âÄù said Carter. âÄúThere is a glimmer of hope in our music and there is optimism, but you can never completely reach it.âÄù

To tap into these isolating qualities and create the music itself, the pair traditionally heads to rural areas to write.

âÄúItâÄôs where we exist most comfortably,âÄù Carter said. âÄúBy the end of tour itâÄôs nice to be back in the country where we feel most at home and can really focus.âÄù

For now, writing and working on a second album has been pushed to the back burner until theyâÄôre finished hustling around the country with the live show. But another record is still something that the group anticipates.

âÄúI think our next album is going to be awesome,âÄù said Carter. âÄúIt will be way better than our first record.âÄù

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *