Phantogram sets the bar high for new music in 2010. Obvious comparisons to Portishead aside, this young duo easily hold their own. It’s a fine distinction, but Phantogram is more space-hop than trip-hop and “When I’m Small” throws down a groove of heavily plucked bass that brightens up the bedroom vocals and scratchy record sample circling its way through the track. About a third of the way through everything drops out except soft synth pulses and echoing guitar to highlight Sarah Barthel’s voice. Diamonds spill from this woman’s mouth every time she opens it! My limited judgment is based on this and a couple other tracks, but I’m happily prejudiced and waiting to be fully abducted by Eyelid Movies on February 9th (vinyl via Ghostly). East Coast dates begin shortly before.
When I’m Small [MP3, 9.6MB, 320kbps]
“Mouthful of Diamonds” live on KEXP: