Phantogram Tears Up Letterman
I’m starting to wonder who books the acts on Letterman. I may have do some research, hunt them down, and kindly shake their hand. Much to the apparent dismay of the aging David Letterman, the music on his show just keeps getting better. One act after another, more progressive and EDM artists are coming out of the woodwork and going mainstream through these late-night concerts. Phantogram the other night wasn’t just another to add to the list; it may be worth stalking and hugging some booking agents.
Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel just released their sophomore album Voices in the middle of last month, and I’m starting to wonder why I haven’t picked it up yet. Every track and every performance has heart and emotion that tops few others. On Letterman, Barthel wore a sexy little number including lace up, leather, high-waisted shorts that did not disappoint. And while Carter hung in the shadows, his seamless guitar riffs rocked the stage right to the bones. The group has an uncanny ability to make their sound as thick as an orchestra, and Barthel has a stage presence comparable to the likes of Karen O. The duo loves what they do, and they make it clear. Grade school friends, they formed Phantogram after basically failing at everything else they had previously pursued. I thank them for that, because music is clearly what they’re meant to master.
The group performed a steadfast favorite of mine, “The Day You Died,” one of the first singles off of Voices. It showcased Barthel’s powerful voice and Carter’s flawless fingers. The song maps the emotional apathy of someone ready to let the death of a relationship stay buried. Check out the powerful performance below, and pick up Voices — goodness knows I will ASAP after that performance!