Today is the day everyone! Phantogram are back with new music after a year of making music and touring with Outkast’s Big Boi in their side-project Big Grams. Today the electro-pop duo released their third studio album appropriately named ‘Three’. As exciting as it is to get new music from one of our favorite bands, this album came from a sad place.
Earlier this year vocalist Sarah Barthel’s sister Becky passed away tragically and although band-mate Carter is not related to Barthel, having been friends for most of their life they both feel as though they’ve lost a sister. In interviews Sarah has said that this record “is about heartbreak” and that “the overall message is about how tragic life can be at times—how the world can bring you down… But you have to try to find the beauty in it sometimes.”. This brings to mind the theme of my favorite film ‘American Beauty’ which is that we want to be angry about the bad things that happen to us but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sidenote: I will take any chance I get to talk about American Beauty (sorry not sorry). Back to Phantogram…
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).
I am going to be honest, this year was the first I had ever heard of Big Guava Music Festival. When I was scrolling through my news feed and some bands that I follow had posted that they’d be playing at Big Guava this year, I decided I was going to go to the festival myself. It was a 3 day music festival (with rides, food trucks, and a beer garden!) that took place in Tampa at the Florida State Fairgrounds and the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater. This years artists included: Outkast, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, MS MR, Slightley Stoopid, Tegan & Sara, Haim, Grouplove, Twenty One Pilots, and Band of Skulls and more. Some lesser known (but awesome) bands I was excited about were Bear Hands, Smallpools, Terraplane Sun, Morning Parade, and Magic Man. I was all around super impressed by the line-up, especially because it’s not too often that bands I really love, the smaller indie types, come to Florida at all, let alone all come to the same place at the same time.
I really had an amazing time at Big Guava and I am already so excited for next years installment! My favorite bands I saw there were: Outkast (too cool!), Hoodie Allen (kind of lost it), Terraplane Sun (very impressed by them), Girl Talk (PARTY!), and Foster the People (…no words for how great they were). Check out my pictures from the festival below, and I HIGHLY encourage you to go next year if you live in the area! Continue reading