Phantogram is an American music duo from Greenwich, New York, formed in 2007 and consisting of Josh Carter (vocals, guitars) and Sarah Barthel (vocals, keyboards).
Carter and Barthel have been friends since junior high school. In the summer of 2007, Barthel returned home dissatisfied with pursuing a visual arts degree at Champlain College in Vermont, and Carter returned home after a brief stint in New York City with Grand Habit, an experimental band formed with his older brother, John.
The two friends reunited and worked on finishing some of Carter's earlier songwriting ideas, then finally formed the band. They played some live shows, but decided to focus the bulk of their energies on making records.
The duo was originally called “Charlie Everywhere,” and used that name to perform around the Saratoga Springs area and to release two EPs on local label Sub-Bombin Records. Upon signing with UK label Barely Breaking Even on January 26, 2009, they changed their name to Phantogram. The band name was inspired by an optical illusion called a phantogram, in which two-dimensional images appear to be three-dimensional.
The band define their music as electro rock, dream pop, electronica and trip hop, and have described their sound as "street beat, psych pop". According to Carter, their music has "lots of rhythms, swirling guitars, spacey keyboards, echoes, airy vocals". Carter and Barthel were inspired by artists including: the Beatles, David Bowie, Cocteau Twins, J Dilla, the Flaming Lips, John Frusciante, Serge Gainsbourg, Madlib, Sonic Youth, Yes, Kevin Shields and Prince.
They write and record in a remote barn in Upstate New York called Harmony Lodge. The band has released three studio albums - Eyelid Movies in 2009, Voices in 2014, and their most recent release Three in 2016.