Phantogram dropped their new album Ceremony on Friday, and it's one of their most gripping efforts to date.
The duo's first since 2016's Three, it features their previously released songs such as "Into Happiness," "In a Spiral" and "Mister Impossible." And it follows an important but necessary break for the pair, while showing the signs of a rebirth despite this being a dark but hopeful chapter for a band typically associated with alt-friendly bangers.
“When Three was finished, I thought the weight of sadness and anger would release after finishing recording. Boy, I was wrong," says Phantogram's Sarah Barthel, who lost her sister Becky to suicide. "Performing those songs every night was like reliving the feelings over and over again. After that tour, I was completely drained and spent. After 10 years of being in this band and pouring my heart into everything that is Phantogram, I felt like I didn’t have anything else."
Barthel says she and bandmate and friend Josh Carter were essentially stuck in a moment not allowing themselves to move forward and grow. When their last tour ended, they stepped away from "the Phantogram bubble and [faced] real life."
In addition to Barthel's sister's death, the duo acknowledges that around the same time, they seemed to constantly be faced with the passing of fellow musicians and friends such as Mac Miller, Chris Cornell, Avicii and Chester Bennington, whose passing impacted their lives and impacted the finished record.
Hear Ceremony below.