Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Alternative Indie




"Song of the Day: Phantomelo - "The Tempest""

Fort Worth Surf-Rock Trio Phantomelo Weathers A Perfect Storm In The Video For The Dreamy New Single Off Their Water Your Friends EP.

Welcome‌ ‌to‌ ‌‌Song‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Day‌,‌ ‌where‌ ‌we‌ ‌hip‌ ‌you‌ ‌to‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌local‌ ‌releases‌ ‌you‌ ‌should‌ ‌be‌ ‌caring‌ ‌about.‌ ‌By‌ ‌highlighting‌ ‌one‌ ‌new‌ ‌North‌ ‌Texas-sprung‌ ‌tune‌ ‌every‌ ‌week‌ ‌day,‌ ‌our‌ ‌hope‌ ‌is‌ ‌that‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌find‌ ‌something‌ ‌new‌ ‌to‌ ‌love‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌rich‌ ‌and‌ ‌abundant‌ ‌DFW‌ ‌music‌ ‌scene‌ ‌five‌ ‌days‌ ‌a‌ ‌week.‌ ‌ ‌

Phantomelo – “The Tempest”
RIYL:‌ Unwitting climate change PSAs.
What‌ ‌Else‌ ‌You‌ ‌Should‌ ‌Know:‌ On the follow-up to their 2019 debut EP, William Rakkar, Panda Cuenca and Jeff Gerardi of Phantomelo have built upon their unmistakable chemistry for their best release yet.

On Friday, the trio dropped Water Your Friends Pt. 1, offering up a set of brand new surf-rock bangers. While EP opener “The Tempest” is worthy of instant replay, it’s best heard while watching the fantastic music video by Coffee Pot Films.

The song itself shifts between dreamy and chaotic energies led by Rakkar’s apathetic lyricism as he wails, “The big one’s coming/I don’t care,” in a moment of the music video’s foreshadowing.

The visual for “The Tempest” begins with Phantomelo surrounded by lush woodlands before they’re suddenly cycled through waves of flames and tempered seashores — just another day of erratic Texas weather, really. Gerardi’s crashing of the drums strike with an eruption of riffs from Cuenca and Rakkar around the three-minute mark as the trio is engulfed by wreckage from the thunderstorm they’ve unknowingly conjured. Cuenca’s verses, though brief, provide for the perfect ghostly narration throughout the video’s climate change-like transitions.

At the core of what makes “The Tempest” great is the band’s ability, both visually and sonically, to channel their contagious dynamic — somehow they manage to look even more raw while miming on inflatable guitars and a toy drum set at one point in the video.

If they were a tropical storm before, “The Tempest” just upgraded Phantomelo to full-on hurricane. - Central Track

"Phantomelo's Baby Ghosts"

Somewhere in Garland, graffiti covers the dingy walls of an abandoned maternity ward. Silence is most likely the only thing to be found behind any of a long hallway’s several doors. It is rumored that the cat-like cries of spectral newborns can be heard echoing in the emptiness at night.

Suddenly, the silence is cleft by the stab of an electric guitar. As drums and bass join in, the haunting darkness is tamed, replaced by the sound of danceable rock music.

No, this is not a scene in a new Candyman movie, nor the setup of the latest installment in the Resident Evil video game series. This is just a normal rehearsal night for the Fort Worth dream-pop quartet Phantomelo.

he group has found themselves rehearsing in these spooky confines due to two successive floods to the house (and former practice spot) of singer/guitarist Will Rakkar and bassist Amanda “Panda” Cuenca in the span of three days last September. The couple suddenly found themselves out both a place to live and jam. A friend helped solve one issue by suggesting the maternity ward. It’s certainly strange, but they’re making the most of it. As they’ve gotten more comfortable there, “The Baby Prison,” as Cuenca calls it, may even have worked some of its mysterious alchemy into the band’s music.

“At first, it was really creepy, but it’s actually a cool spot,” Rakkar said. “I know there were a lot of babies born there, and I like to think that we’re bringing some new life into the world there ourselves with our music.”

This Saturday, the most significant of Phantomelo’s musical progeny will finally make its way into the sunlight. The band’s EP is dropping, and they’re hoping it not only continues the momentum they’ve been building lately but also that it takes them to the next level.

Adorably titled Pet Your Dog More, the four songs feature a new second guitarist, San Diego transplant Will Kimbrell, who joined Cuenca, Rakkar, and drummer Jeff Gerardi last fall just after the release of their first single, “The Tempest.” Kimbrell’s addition is immediately recognizable on the EP, as his contributions widen the band’s sound greatly.

“When [Kimbrell] joined the band, there was just so much more we were able to do,” Rakkar said. “Our sound is much fuller. We’ve really been able to expand the sound we make and successfully create a mood.”

In addition to Kimbrell, a great influence on the tranquil, dreamy rock of Pet Your Dog More is the work of L.A.-based mastering engineer Hans DeKline (U2, Pixies) and producer/engineer Taylor Tatsch (Maren Morris, Shadows of Jets). The band spent two days at Tatsch’s Audio Styles studio in the scenic Texas hill country last October. Tatsch offered the band much more than simply someone to set up mics and press “record.”

“Working with Taylor Tatsch was an absolute dream,” Rakkar said. “He really picked up on the vibes that we were trying to accomplish on the recording. Not only is he just great at recording, but he also offers creative ideas to make a song better. He just adds these little touches that really make it.”

A video for the EP’s first single, “Gum Love,” was just shot by Coffee Pot Films and will precede the album’s release with a premiere on Friday. The following night, Phantomelo commemorates the release of PYDM with a show at Lola’s Saloon with Ryker Hall, Hen & the Cocks, and Catamaran. There will be a raffle to win some of the band’s merch, and the first 50 people through the door will receive complimentary diffraction glasses to heighten the psychedelic experience of the foursome’s light show. Cover charge is $8 - Fort Worth Weekly

"A New Song – And A Trashy Video – To Confront Climate Change"

Phantomelo’s new single “The Tempest” starts with a simple, yet dreamy sounding guitar melody that carries through the song. “Talked about the weather/I didn’t care/I Think I’m gonna stay home/Wait it out,” sings Will Rakkar, soft and soothing.

The song, the band’s first release since 2019’s “Gum Love,” sounds light and it’s fun to listen to. But “The Tempest” carries a more serious meaning. A tempest is a violent storm and that is exactly what the song is about.

“’The Tempest’ is a song about the planet and what we’re all going through,” said Rakkar. “It’s about how the human mind copes with the always lurking impending disaster.

“It’s also about the unsuitable celebration of apathy at a time when the earth and its resources have never been in greater peril.”

Rakkar said that his interest in conservation was sparked in 2017 when his brother was in the path of Hurricane Harvey. While Rakkar was worried about the safety of his family, he realized people were making light of the seriousness of the disaster on social media. Then he started to become more aware of other natural disasters and the effects of climate change.

“All the natural disasters… mudslides, earthquakes… it just feels like maybe we have a little destructive trail that kind of follows us around through our lives from just simply living our modern lifestyle,” Rakkar said.

Rakkar, who also plays guitar in the band, met bass player “Panda” Cuenca and drummer Jeff Gerardi in 2017 while all three were navigating the Arlington music scene. (Rakkar says it’s a hotbed of creativity.) The band originally started as a surf-rock project, but, as things tend to do, Phantomelo evolved. The band now has a robust alternative sound.

“One of the great things about the human experience is trying as many things as possible and seeing what works and what is awesome and what is fun to do and what’s the most rewarding,” Rakkar said.

“The Tempest” is accompanied by a music video produced by Coffee Pot Films that features Phantomelo members performing in front of soothing nature scenes that morph into natural disasters. The video finale is a full-blown trash hurricane – literally. Rakkar said that the band and video crew saved their trash for two weeks to create the visual effect.

“People don’t realize how much waste we create, because they like to hide it from us over here… dump it in the ocean or put it into a pit and set it on fire,” Rakkar said. “What I thought was really great was, here it is! We’re just a small group of people and look how much trash we created in two weeks. It’s insane.”

“The Tempest” was released with a B-Side called “Crimson Tide”, and both will be on the upcoming EP titled, Water Your Friends. Rakkar says the theme of the whole EP is about giving back to the earth. Keep up with their new releases and shows on Phantomelo’s website, Facebook, and Instagram. - NPR-KERA-Art and Seek

"Phantomelo’s Sounds from Thin Air"

Most musicians I know hate answering what most laypeople would consider a fairly simple, straightforward question: “What does your band sound like?” The dismissive answer (and the one that will satisfy your aunt during Thanksgiving dinner) is, “We play rock ’n’ roll.” The other way musos respond is by giving so many genre-blending descriptors, no one can really glean any real impression of what their band sounds like, but in the case of Phantomelo, this latter approach seems to at least get you in the ballpark.

“We’ve had a long-running joke about this in the band,” said singer/guitarist/keyboardist Will Rakkar. “We came up the phrase ‘gothic-psychedelic-surf-rock.’ I’m not sure that’s the best description, but it’s pretty close.”

Rakkar, bassist Amanda “Panda” Cuenca, and drummer Jeff Gerardi are set to release their first single, “The Tempest,” on Saturday at Lola’s Saloon. And although “gothic, psychedelic surf-rock” does touch on elements you’ll hear in Phantomelo’s music, it’s a better description of, say, The Cramps than it is the Fort Worth-based three-piece’s particular brand of dreamy, sensual indie-pop.

The track, which was recorded by Rick Greenwood at Denton’s Geneva Post Audio, features anything but dingy vibrato-bending hollowbodies. Rakkar’s sharp, up-down chord accents over an undulating, echo-drenched second guitar are more Interpol’s Daniel Kessler than the Cramps’ Poison Ivy or The Misfits’ Doyle von Frankenstein. And the vocal melody, with Rakkar’s percussive “Whoo,” makes for a Dandy Wharhols-level sing-along hook you won’t hear on Sisters of Mercy records.

Though “The Tempest” is a fairly focused pop song, Phantomelo’s other material is a practical stone soup of seemingly random tastes thrown together into some loosely cohesive amalgam. They shift wildly from Ventures-style surf leads to gypsy-jazz-inspired walking chord comps before slipping into a trilling pan flute-sounding solo played on synthesizer.

Even the band’s name is a call to discovering your sound from anything and everything around you. Phantomelo is a made-up bastardization of the term “ghost melody,” the name Cuenca gives to those moments when you hear rhythm or music in innocuous everyday objects, like the monotonous “whom-whom-whom” of a turning fan or the “chunk-cha-chunk” of a train along its tracks.

It’s this random absorption and implementation of disparate sounds and styles that Rakkar hopes listeners find interesting. Or at the very least, it’s given him the freedom to explore things he finds interesting.

“If you play jazz music and make a mistake, everybody knows,” he said. “But if you write your own music, nobody can ever say that. No one can say, ‘Hey, man, You messed up’ or whatever, because it’s your stuff.”

Ironically, underlying Phantomelo’s sometimes measure-by-measure musical left turns, there exists an indeterminate root of something that you can point to and say, “This. This is what Phantomelo sounds like.” But I for one am still not sure how I’d go about describing it. - Fort Worth Weekly

"Dallas Music News: Phantomelo's 'Trashy' Video, Rosegarden Funeral Party Covers Danny Elfman"

Phantomelo’s video for “The Tempest” from the Water Your Friends pt. 1 EP went live last weekend. An environmental song written ironically from an apathetic perspective about the world’s impending demise, “The Tempest” is accompanied by a music video placing the band’s members in the middle of natural disasters and ending with a trash storm made up of garbage saved by the band and film crew for two weeks. - Dallas Observer


Pet Your Dog More (2019)-EP

Water Your Friends (2021)-EP



Phantomelo is an Indie Alternative trio from Dallas, Texas. Described as psychedelic-surf rock, they take inspiration from the ethereal vocals of Washed Out, with the madness of David Byrne and collide them with sonic soundscapes that nod to Grizzly Bear, Wavves, Dandy Warhols and Radiohead.

Their journey began in 2017 in Arlington Tx, and after two years of being thrashed around the D/FW metroplex, they now call Dallas home. No strangers to hardship, they have an element of environmentalism to their work.

Winners of Song of the year, Ep of the Year, Video of the Year and Guitarist of the Year by the Fort Worth Weekly in 2019.

"If they were a tropical storm before, “The Tempest” just upgraded Phantomelo to full-on hurricane."

-Central Track, 2021

"The Tempest" finale is a full-blown trash hurricane – literally.

-NPR, Art and Seek, 2021

“The Tempest” is a colorful and emotive indie rock outing...with huge production that has a larger than life feeling with some sneakily catchy ideas and big guitar riffs that bring it all home in epic fashion.

-We All Want Someone to Shout For, 2021

Phantomelo will be releasing their third single and third music video, summer 2021

"Gum Love" Music Video-

"The Tempest" Music Video-

Phantomelo Spotify-


Band Members