Phantoms want to bring back the night. While some enjoy music designed for fist-pumping, Phantoms yearn for a more transcendental experience. Crafting their debut album effortlessly spanning multiple genres while still finding a cohesive thread of what’s next, Phantoms take their listeners from the depths of the underground, to the heights of classic hit-making and back; an intrinsic journey echoing the musings off all things that go bump in the night.
Together the duo of Vincent Pergola and Kyle Kaplan create sophisticated arrangements and tension-filled pop that reminds listeners of the sound’s nocturnal foundations. Their songs evoke a world rich in subterranean settings, mysterious characters, and desperate situations. Phantoms is for remembering that it’s called nightlife for a reason. “as denizens of the night ourselves, we take a purposeful and constant front row to the impact of the social dynamics of nightlife in people’s everyday being,” says Kaplan. “It is fun, but there always a unique story to everyone’s personal journey through the night.”
Though only in their mid-20s, Pergola and Kaplan are already veterans of the Los Angeles scene. The pair are natives of the city and met when they were in their teens, both of them burning out on the acting scene, part and parcel to the never ending party life they’d been part of. Indulging their growing love of making music, at first they started bands inspired by the populist funk they’d grown up around—Pergola’s father and accomplished rhythm guitarist in numerous outfits and Kaplan’s uncle Rory handled keyboards for Michael Jackson during the Bad era. Later the two discovered Daft Punk and the Ed Banger Records crew, who kept the energy high, but brought a distinct groove and traditional song structures to the endless throb of most dance music. Taking on the name Phantoms, they began Djing at spots for the “young Hollywood” set.
Soon Phantoms began to gravitate back towards producing their own music, embracing synthesizers and drum machines, but yearning for something more dynamic and exciting. They began playing and reworking their tracks live around the city, donning suits and creating a dramatic atmosphere. It’s a far cry from the mega raves and big money residences that have come to dominate the perception of the electronic music scene. “We’re constantly striving to instill a sense of class back into dance music” says Pergola. “We want to craft a performance and actually make it a show. It’s more than just track after track and drop after drop. We aim high to take our audience on an elaborate journey into the night”.
After a self-titled EP released on Skrillex’s OWSLA label in 2013, Phantoms’ sound has continued to progress. They’ve recently released “Voyeur” and “Broken Halo,” two new tracks from their forthcoming full-length global debut on Republic/Casablanca/FAMILY records. The album was recorded during sessions that stretched into the early AM hours at the Downtown L.A. studio and artist development outfit, FAMILY, which plays home to a melting pot of ultimately diverse artists who constantly strive to define what’s next in music and push each other and their audiences to unchartered territory. Phantoms uncanny ability to reinvent the norm leaves them poised for a breakout 2016.
As the music of Phantoms continues to spread, it’s becoming clear that the night is theirs, and soon will be all of ours to share.