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Phantogram - Three (Republic)

Add Date: 10/18
Focus Tracks: 2 & 3
FCC: Clean
Format: College

Artist Info: On Three, Phantogram’s third studio album, the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel take their sound in an intriguing, darkly shaded direction, adding new textures to their signature style.

Carter found fresh perspective in AfroBeat and ‘60’s R&B when creating the steady beats that form the foundation of the album. Despite the new influences and a strong experimental motivation, Three still unmistakably sounds like Phantogram, with plenty of thick, buzzing beats and snaking melodic lines to sink your teeth into.

Three is a triumphant record, but it also bears the mark of personal tragedy. During the recording process, the band suffered a devastating loss when Barthel’s sister (and Carter’s close friend since childhood) Becky passed away of suicide. Work on music stopped immediately, but then as the duo slowly returned to the studio the aftermath of their personal loss (compounded by the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, two of Phantogram’s greatest musical heroes and inspirations) began to reverberate throughout the process, imbuing the album with varied shades of complicated, human emotion that Carter refers to as “Finding the beauty within tragedy.”

An iridescent record that glows with warmth even as it explores the desolation of personal pain, Three is the latest chapter in Phantogram’s impressive ascent to the forefront of alternative pop—as well as proof that nothing, at this point, can hold them back.