Nightlife is Phantogram’s newest EP since 2009’s full-length Eyelid Movies. If you were a fan of that album, you will most likely enjoy these six new tracks. In the event that you have yet to check out Phantogram, the band essentially sounds like some distorted guitar over heavy beats with melodic vocals. This EP showcases a more refined sound than was presented in Eyelid Movies, but with all the same appeal.
Sarah Barthel is on keyboards while Josh Carter is the drum and guitar master, and both can hold their own when it comes to vocals. This album, written while out promoting Eyelid Movies, is aptly titled Nightlife as the club scene surrounded the duo for the duration of the album’s inception. “Nightlife” isn’t as strong as you would hope a title track to be; however, it is one of the softer, more approachable songs on the album, complete with dreamy vocals, lighter instrumentals, and minimal distortion.
Just as “Mouthful of Diamonds” was one of the best tracks off Eyelid Movies, “Don’t Move” is very similar and is the best known of this EP. This dance track shines with a mixture of synth and rhythm in a dreamy trip-hop setting.
“Make A Fist” is both chill and groovy with some percussion and distorted vocals, steadily maintaining power throughout the track. A similar track, “Turning Into Stone” utilizes Carter’s vocals as well and has a nice instrumental break with about one minute to spare, then brings back the duo’s vocals over some steady percussion.
Album opener “16 years” sets the dreamy mood with Barthel’s vocals, and is reminiscent of Eyelid Movies’ “When I’m Small.” Also reminiscent of Eyelid Movies tracks, album closer “A Dark Tunnel” reminds us of “Bloody Palms” and “Running From the Cops,” utilizing distorted vocals over heavy synth beats.
Ultimately, this album is quite reminiscent of their previous release in the best of ways. Phantogram uses floating vocals and heavy rhythm in a dream-pop-meets-trip-hop way that is sure to make you want to sway, dance, and groove the night away. If you are a fan of previous Phantogram releases, the Nightlife EP will not disappoint.