Eyelid Movies is the debut album by Saratoga Springs, NY duo, Phantogram. Unlike that other Saratoga Springs duo Ratatat, Phantogram makes music that’s more subdued than meant for parties. Their music deftly combines elements of psychedelic rock, trip hop, and pop.
The group’s debut single “When I’m Small” immediately caught my ear. With the vocals of Sarah Barthel being both soft and sexy, the track sounded like Portishead being remixed by J Dilla.
However the single is not necessarily representative of the entire album. “Turn It Off” is much more rock-based. It sounds somewhere between the Dandy Warhols and MGMT. “You Are The Ocean” is a soul song with a trip hop backbone. “Futuristic Casket” is a shoegaze song with male/female vocals and a hip hop beat under it.
It seems that when Phantogram goes the more traditional downtempo/hip hop production route, the songs are a bit more enjoyable. The group gets a little caught up being a band and adding band instruments like U2-esque echoed guitars and it over powers the production. I can’t fault a band for trying to spice up their music but it seems to me there is a beauty in their more simplistic songs.