11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“In a Spiral”—an early single from Ceremony, Phantogram’s fourth LP—was inspired by the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros, a serpent eating its own tail. “That's the feeling you get,” band member Josh Carter tells Apple Music of the presence of social media and the internet in modern life. “It's never-ending. You're chasing something, and something's chasing you. It's existential in a lot of ways, and I guess a bit esoteric. That's how most of our music is—we keep it in our own world.” Coming in the wake of 2016’s Three (whose recording was impacted by the suicide of band member Sarah Barthel’s older sister), Ceremony has the sound of a band reveling in dualities, finding comfort in being sealed off together from an outside world that grows more chaotic by the day. For every slice of surrealist, shape-shifting pop (“News Today,” “Mister Impossible”), there is an unclouded declaration of love that’s just as affecting—from the beatific tones of “Into Happiness” to the early moments of “Pedestal,” which Barthel opens with “You could make a hospital lovely.” “We wanted to explain the feeling of giving your entire soul to someone you love and adore, relationship or not, whatever it is,” Barthel says of “Pedestal.” “And that person not even understanding how much love and pain you get from that.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“In a Spiral”—an early single from Ceremony, Phantogram’s fourth LP—was inspired by the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros, a serpent eating its own tail. “That's the feeling you get,” band member Josh Carter tells Apple Music of the presence of social media and the internet in modern life. “It's never-ending. You're chasing something, and something's chasing you. It's existential in a lot of ways, and I guess a bit esoteric. That's how most of our music is—we keep it in our own world.” Coming in the wake of 2016’s Three (whose recording was impacted by the suicide of band member Sarah Barthel’s older sister), Ceremony has the sound of a band reveling in dualities, finding comfort in being sealed off together from an outside world that grows more chaotic by the day. For every slice of surrealist, shape-shifting pop (“News Today,” “Mister Impossible”), there is an unclouded declaration of love that’s just as affecting—from the beatific tones of “Into Happiness” to the early moments of “Pedestal,” which Barthel opens with “You could make a hospital lovely.” “We wanted to explain the feeling of giving your entire soul to someone you love and adore, relationship or not, whatever it is,” Barthel says of “Pedestal.” “And that person not even understanding how much love and pain you get from that.”

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