October 13, 2011 SOUNDS ⁄  POP TARTS

PHANTOGRAM: POP TARTS

Pop’s been sounding pretty cool lately. Uh, whuut? Have you listened to the radio, or watched any 2k11 MTV? That Bolton hen night, autotuned trance-lite may go down smooth down your local Turkish pool hall, or the naked wasted end of a night out; but really… its not that pop’s been getting cooler.

It’s that “cool” music’s getting poppier.

Finally, artists have sussed out that to stay exclusive and underground, you don’t have to go all dark, hard and weird. The underground acts riding the popwave include the elusive Weeknd, who is moshing flagrantly on the thin ice between commercial and cult like R Kelly on peyote. Also, see Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, who is making insanely danceable tunes on Warp Records, as CANT. But one act that’s slam dunked the new accessible vibe is Phantogram. They’re a coupla country bumpkins from upstate New York, who are rooted in trip-hop – and their catchy synths and angelic vocals are defining the credible aural foam party that is underground pop.

Whooops, did we just suck the fun out of undergro…we mean u-pop, before it began? And then put a nail in the coffin with a Grazia-style moniker? Our bad.