Killing Phantoms
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Killing Phantoms

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After listening to Killing Phantoms' music I felt as if I were transported directly back to the 1960's; they've managed to embrace that 60's pop rock flavor we all remember fondly and love, managing to add a more modern downtown indie, NYC-based vibe at the same time. Anyone who is searching for that classic 60's pop rock sound with some new interpretations, Killing Phantoms should be high up on the list of new music to check ou - John Carey, NYC Bassist & Producer


Killing Phantoms - "Killing Phantoms" self-released LP 2007. Available at and itunes



Killing Phantoms is the moniker/brainchild of singer and songwriter Phuong Nguyen, with tons of help along the way. An amalgamation of blissful harmonies, nostalgic and melancholy lyrics, sweet honesty, and broad arrangements that go from the overdriven sound of early era Smashing Pumpkins to the confessional intimacy of newer bands such as The National and Sigur Ros, Killing Phantoms covers a wide but singular swath of music. The name hails from a passage of a thrown-away Anais Nin diary, describing a long walk home, a feeling so forlorn yet so inevitable and real, a loneliness that is not lonely. Certainly a New York sentiment!

Nguyen has lived and worked in NYC since 2004, a transplant from Minneapolis, home of cold winters that require a little soul to warm up the heart and bones. After quickly assembling a band with native New Yorkers, brother/sister duo John and Mags LaBombard on guitar and bass, and Jonathan Curtiss on drums, Nguyen played through a dizzying maze of bars and clubs through the Lower East Side and the East Village to significant aplomb. After some lineup shifts, Nguyen recorded the follow-up to his Minneapolis-recorded self-titled debut “Killing Phantoms” and the early EP “Orange Road” recorded with Ray Ketchem from Elk City. Entitled “Heroes Night”, it is the result of a few cold weeks in Brooklyn that ended 2008 at the Seaside Lounge with Mitch Rackin, Pat McCarthy, and Josh Clark (New Pornographers, Beirut). A very intimate record, friends stopped by to play and sing including Steve Milton and Dave Horowitz formerly of The Cloud Room on accordion and guitar, respectively, Roxanne Khamsi on cello, and Brad Thurow on piano and organ. Subsequently, the record was mixed by Alan Ford (Greg Weeks, Lavalear) at Kampo Studios and mastered by Paul Gold at Salt Mastering in Spring of ’09.

Fully charged and eager to please, the band (currently consisting of long-time bassist Margaret LaBombard and new drummer Oren Tepper) successfully organized and played a benefit for the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation, an organization for underprivileged children this past June. Each member delicately brings out the best nuances of each other's personality and performance, and the sounds harken to a late night vibe, filled with wine and friendship, and the city lights to soundtrack your walk home. “Heroes Night” is to be released this fall.