Music Review: Eyelid Movies

Eyelid Movies by Phantogram
Grade: B+
Buy album from Amazon

Download album from Amazon

Electronica was at its height during my high school years. But I tried to ignore the genre back then. After all, I was a metalhead and a guitarist. Songs without palm-muted guitar riffs didn't mean a thing to me at that time. If not for the influence of my band's vocalist, who has a wide range of musical interests, I wouldn't have gained any appreciation for electronica at all. That would've been unfortunate because I'd miss out on many great artists.

Nowadays, I listen to some electronica and even enjoy it. Time has corroded the metalhead in me, I guess. But it's not my forte. I'm not a technohead convert and I'm still deeply rooted into rock music. So I only have a few of the genre's artists in my collection. I mostly have the old, familiar acts like Massive Attack and Portishead (which I started listening to -when they released their album Three- about two years ago). I do try hard on expanding my collection though, and I recently found an excellent band to add to it. That band is called Phantogram.

Phantogram is a duo from upstate New York. A friend who saw them open a Yeasayer concert couldn't stop raving about their music. So I decided to check them out and sample their song on iTunes. I instantaneously fell in love with them after I heard their single "When I'm Small". The song is just cool to listen to, upbeat yet shoegazy. It's a perfect song to listen to when you're driving in a cold night, with your windows down and nobody but you on the road.

The rest of their debut album, Eyelid Movies, is no bore either. The album's music, drenched in hypnotic drum loops and shimmering guitars, feels like a noir film: dark, creepy and full of static. But combine those rhythms with the sensuous voice of singer-keyboardist Sarah Barthel and it becomes dreamlike. "Mouthful of Diamonds", my favorite song in the album, is perhaps the perfect example of the creepy yet dreamy music of Phantogram. It is a buzzy and messy track. But once Barthel adds her alluring vocals, you'll find yourself relaxing in sonic heaven and nodding your head to its beats.

Eyelid Movies is one of the best of electronica albums that I've heard (which isn't a lot), and probably my favorite of them all. Its weird mix of Barthel's sultry vocals and trip hop beats makes it a very good listen. It's not perfect, however, because the beats can become repetitive and Barthel isn't the only one singing in this band. But if you're into trip hop like Massive Attack and Portishead, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy Eyelid Movies as much as I did.

"Mouthful of Diamonds" by Phantogram

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