It feels like it’s been AGES since Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter (aka Phantogram) started teasing that they were working on something with Outkast rapper Big Boi on Instagram in the way of very promising photos with not much to the captions other than “in the works” and “coming soon” (not soon enough Sarah and Josh, not soon enough). Pure torture is what those pictures were. Not only do I love every piece of music Phantogram has delivered to my eardrums, but then there’s Outkast. Oh Outkast, a very important piece of the puzzle that is the soundtrack to my youth..you feel me? (Of course you do).
When I saw that Phantogram and Big Boi were coming together to create a new group and putting out an EP, it was like the start of a Christmas countdown (which by the way is still counting down as I write these words). I started to dig for more information. During my search I found an interview with the band in which Big Boi told Pitchfork he had stumbled upon Phantogram through a pop-up ad on his computer featuring their song “Mouthful of Diamonds“. He shazamed the song, bought it on iTunes, and put it on his website as his jam of the week. Phantogram then reached out to Big and they talked for a while via phone conversations and from there they went back to Stankonia Studios and began to make music together (fun fact: Phantogram was featured on Big Boi’s latest album “Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors”).
At the end of August Big Grams made their live performance debut at Epic Fest in Los Angeles. Luckily some festival-goers snagged a clip of the performance and that was the first piece of music we heard from Big Grams. Cut to a few weeks ago when the group did a Reddit AMA to answer fans questions about anything and everything. During the AMA they discussed their vision for the group and what the future holds for it and also for Big Boi and Phantogram separately. After the AMA Sarah, Josh, and Big took to their Facebook page to share the first clip from the upcoming self-titled EP. They continued to do this for the following 6 days. Each day a new clip with artwork to go along with it. Each track represents one of the 7 deadly sins: sloth, pride, envy, lust, greed, wrath, and gluttony. For the artwork the group enlisted the help of Los Angeles graphic designer, pop artist, and director Kii Arens. Kii created artwork for each song, all with women covered head to toe in golden body paint standing on blocks of marble as if to look like a trophy with a black galaxy backdrop. Each trophy has the name of a different seven deadly sin (we talked about those earlier, remember?). Pretty wild right? I actually think this artwork is the perfect symbolism for this EP. The galaxy background represents Phantogram’s spacey, electronic sound while the painted women trophies represent the hip-hop Big Boi half of the group. I love the way it comes together.
It’s the final countdown with only a day left until this EP comes out, which I’m confident in saying will make us all do one of these:They have given us a few full singles so far in the past couple of weeks (Goldmine Junkie is my personal favorite) and you can listen to those below this post. To pre-order the EP click here. Also make sure you follow Big Grams on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to stay updated on what’s to come! Happy listening guys, if you don’t like this music…we may need to re-evaluate everything you know about music. Just sayin ;p.