I’d already been enjoying Eyelid Movies, the debut LP by Phantogram, and then I read a Los Angeles Times feature on the duo. Besides learning the album was written in a barn, we’re told Sarah Barthel helped introduce her bandmate, Josh Carter, to hip-hop – specifically, indie beatmakers.
Said Carter: “We really love David Bowie and the Beatles and Pink Floyd, but I was really into Serge Gainsbourg and Françoise Hardy — French pop from the ’60s was really inspiring to me. I turned Sarah onto that, and she turned me onto beatmakers like the 9th Wonder,” who produced one of my favorite albums from 2006, Murray’s Revenge by Murs. Oh, that’s a woman after my own heart.
The beat-making influence is evident from the get-go on the album’s lead-off track, Mouthful of Diamonds, an instantly catchy marriage of electronic and human elements. Though When I’m Small – a dreamy, beat-heavy gem in its own right – was selected as the official mp3 released via Barsuk, I’ve already pegged Mouthful as a song that likely will end up on the year-end mix I make for friends.
Here’s a clip of the duo playing it for KEXP in December.