Phancy rhythms: Phantogram

New York band tours Canada, plays Garrick Centre’s Jingle Bell Rock

Crack out the eggnog and get out your dancing shoes. On Dec. 9, electronic-rock duo Phantogram will bring holiday joy to the Garrick Centre as part of the Union event series, Jingle Bell Rock.

Phantogram is composed of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, two artists from Saratoga Springs, New York. Formed in 2007, the duo has released two studio albums and four extended plays. Their latest album, Voices, released in February of this year, exemplifies a continuation of the group’s take on indie rock music with hip-hop production and beat influences.

The style and genre crossover appeal has led the duo to collaborate with Outkast member Big Boi. Having already teamed up on tracks such as “Objectum Sexuality” for Big Boi’s solo album, Phantogram and Big Boi have since gone into the studio and recorded an EP worth of material. The collaboration, called Big Grams, may be released as soon as 2015.

“It just kind of happened from just hanging out a lot. It’s crazy to say, but we’re good friends with Big Boi,” said singer/guitarist Josh Carter in an interview with XXL Magazine.

“We were just talking about things and said, ‘Why don’t we just make a record together?’ That’s it.”

For the near future, the band will be busy touring in support of their sophomore album, Voices, starting the Canadian portion of their tour on Dec. 4 in Montreal. The band will make their way to Winnipeg from there, stopping in to perform as part of Jingle Bell Rock.

Jingle Bell Rock is an event series put on across five cities in Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon. While Phantogram is from New York, the event series includes many popular Canadian indie acts including Tokyo Police Club, July Talk, and Wildlife.

Along with Phantogram’s show, the series is bringing noise-rock duo Death From Above 1979 to the Garrick Centre in late January of next year.

The event series, which spans over December and January, donates a portion of the ticket sales to a local charity within each city. For the two events in Winnipeg, $1 from every ticket will go towards Winnipeg Harvest’s Hunger for Hope. The initiative, which focuses on providing food for babies and children in Winnipeg and Manitoba, started in 2007 and has since raised over $1.2 million for the cause.

Jingle Bell Rock presents Phantogram with special guest Dear Rouge and Mounties on Dec. 9 at the Garrick Centre (330 Garry Street). Tickets are $27.50 and are available at Music Trader (97 Osborne Street) and