Phantogram's new EP Nightlife is the sort of thing you'll want to listen to while sauntering home through the streets after a late night party, hitting dirt roads with friends, or gettin' busy in the bedroom. Descending deeper into the sound of Eyelid Movies, these six songs take us floating over darkened streets and into the minds and bodies of night crawling youths.
The opening song, "16 Years," has the fresh explosiveness of Asobi Seksu, with Sarah Barthel's ethereal vocals--"Is this love that I'm feeling again?"—getting our juices flowing to the hip-hop beat and shoegaze guitar. You've just left the party with three new phone numbers.
"Don't Move" follows with a crackle and pop of electronic samples to keep your feet moving over pavement. "Don't you know you're alive?" soft vocals chant. In defiance of the song title, the beat makes me want to strut and "shake shake shake." Sounds like Portishead.
The only way you could be "Turning into Stone" while listening to the next song is if you're huddled next to a friend in your hoodie watching the sun rise over skyscrapers as Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel sing, "It's a new day." Dark, low synth blossoms into glorious male/female harmonies with trembling guitar. The song expands with layers of echoing vocals and siren-like horns. "Make a Fist" continues with a similar vibe as Sarah chants "This is the future."
The driving beat of "A Dark Tunnel" is a jolting shift from the plucky guitar at the end of "Nightlife." The last song of the album climbs to the peak with dreamy vocals, pulsing synth, hip hop beats and the echoing calls of crows. Sweet dreams.
Catch a performance of "16 Years" at Moog Sound Lab below: