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75

the1975

Before Matty Healy could go forth and do battle with the world again, he had to get the small matter of doing battle with himself out of the way first. The 17 songs on The 1975’s remarkable, incandescent new album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it give some hints as to what that battle involves. Now, I could make a few guesses about what goes on in Matty’s head but they’d be stabs in the dark – besides, I’m not sure even Matty knows what’s going on in there – or he does, but it changes from minute to minute – so how could we? Confidence, anguished self-doubt, morbid introspection and ceaseless self-laceration surely play a part; ditto arrogance, urgency, passion, panic; add to that already over-crowded space ambition, exhaustion, elation and dejection. As one of the bands inner circle says, “Matthew has what every great frontman has: a massive ego, and extremely low self-worth. That’s great for a frontman; for a human being’s mental health, though, it’s debilitating. His confidence is sky-high but wafer-thin. He has amazing self-belief and resilience, and a huge work ethic, but all of that is shadowed by a darker side.”

phanto

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On Three, Phantogram’s third studio album, the duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel take their sound in an intriguing, darkly shaded direction, adding new textures to their signature style. Three represents a new creative peak that Phantogram has been building towards for nearly a decade. Carter and Barthel first broke out in 2009 with the cinematic Eyelid Movies (Barsuk) – recorded in a barn in Saratoga Springs, NY (a stone’s throw from their hometown of Greenwich) – and after a buzz-building EP (Nightlife, Barsuk) and much touring, Phantogram opted for a change of scenery by recording their expansive second LP, 2014’s Voices (Republic),in Los Angeles with co-producer John Hill (M.I.A., Santigold).

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