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Phantogram @ Rips

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Since 1994, Seattle-based indie label Barsuk records has proved that there's more to the area than Sub Pop. It has released music by Death Cab for Cutie, Mates of State, Ra Ra Riot, Nada Surf, and Rilo Kiley. So when Phantogram — guitarist Josh Carter and keyboard player Sarah Barthel — was picked up by Barsuk last fall, it was a pretty big deal for the electronica duo from New York. Phantogram's held up its end of the deal, with its full-length debut, Eyelid Movies, getting all sort of positive reviews upon release earlier this year. Listening to the album, it's clear that Barsuk was a good fit, with songs such as "Mouthful of Diamonds" meshing perfectly with the high-brow, clean-cut pop the label is known for, complete with alternating male/female vocals. "Running from the Cops" fuzzes things up a bit (but only a bit). The natural next step for a buzz band on the rise is a full-scale national tour, which, handily, is exactly what Phantogram is doing right now — headlining at smaller venues now, but opening up for Ra Ra Riot at some September shows. Record labels may be an increasingly irrelevant concept, but they're still a good fit for Carter and Barthel.

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