My relationship with Fantasma

I’m not really in shape to do Fantasma justice in writing tonight. My brain is foggy; my ears are clogged. But I’ll do what I can, because the feeling of the album is what’s keeping me going through this most difficult leg of winter.

Fantasma always reminds me of the summer of 2020. Winter had felt extra long that year because of COVID & lockdown, so the summer had a special sense of freedom to it. Even if we weren’t able to be out and about like normal yet, my family was fortunate to be able to go to the lake & sail a lot.

I first listened to Fantasma on my brother’s recommendation. There was a lot for me to like about it right away on first listen. I love the pairing of heavy, frenetic drums (both live and machined) with upbeat, sunny guitars and synths. I also love the liberal use of sampling and weird electronic sounds just mixed into the music.

I often think about “sunlight” as a naturally identifiable quality in music. Like above, I described the guitars as “sunny”, and generally speaking, I can pretty quickly tell if music “has sunlight in it” or not. Fantasma has sunlight in nearly every song, the whole album is a great encapsulation for the feeling of summer. It became a natural accompaniment for our trips to the lake.

Right now, we’re in the dead of winter, and I think the number one thing the body wishes for in a long winter is sunlight. With the weather being cold & snowy again and me being sick all week, I haven’t seen hardly any sunlight this week, and I can feel it throughout my body. It’s the part of winter where you might have to give up trying for a bit and just wait for it to end. Listening to Fantasma doesn’t bring back the sunlight, but it reminds me of what I’m waiting for on the other side of winter.

Have you listened to Fantasma? Do you hear the sunlight in it? What other music reminds you of summer or sounds like sunlight to you? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​