Are you surprised that we’re writing about PHANGS again?
Of course, you shouldn’t be.
In the last year, however, PHANGS has yet to release anything more than a few singles here and there. That is, until now. His debut album, Get In My Arms, is arriving at the most opportune time; the concept of PHANGS only just turned one year old on July 18. Get In My Arms is the newest and most exciting era of PHANGS — a promising flicker to the inevitable future.
Listen: “Cul De Sac” – PHANGS
Get In My Arms, out everywhere July 28, feels like a collection of anecdotes ripped straight from Germany’s diary. Its beginning and ending only add to that feeling, bookending the album with an actual cassette recording of Germany and his father from when Germany was just three years old.
“I just wanted to make something that felt real,” Germany elucidates over the phone. “I didn’t know what the subject matter would be when I started. I just kind of decided to start, and let the songs go where they needed to go.”
The album opens with its eponymous track, and introduces the album as an emotional, deeply personal narrative. “Get In My Arms” is a plea for a lost love to come back — it’s easy to miss what you don’t have. Sonically the song feels true to PHANGS’ admitted 90s influences, and feels that much more intense because of it. “Get In My Arms” is a sweeping opener, providing its listener with an opportunity to attach oneself to the rest of the album straight out the gate.
Following “Get In My Arms” is PHANGS’ chef-d’œuvre, “Cul De Sac.” The track first introduced us to PHANGS last summer, and has since found itself on various playlists and has racked up a combined total of over 200K+ streams across streaming platforms. When one thinks PHANGS, they often think “Cul De Sac.” And, subsequently, is PHANGS’ other masterwork, “Always Been U” (ft. R.LUM.R). The track, which recently premiered its music video via Atwood Magazine, is an infectious earworm filled with bouncing riffs and harmonic vocals.
“Everything in music is a platform,” Germany notes. “‘Cul De Sac’ was the initial platform that allowed a couple other songs to have life. And then ‘Always Been U’ allowed me the platform to get this whole collection of songs out.”
Watch: “Always Been U” (ft. R.LUM.R)
The next track, “Used 2 Dream,” soars with its sonic technicality. Its chorus offers a grooving guitar and subtle harmonies. The lyricism in “Used 2 Dream” feels the most personal as well, as Germany croons, “I love you girl, but I can’t be the one that I used to be.”
“‘Used 2 Dream’ was written and had a demo in like, 45 minutes,” Germany says. “That particular song is pretty lyrically and emotionally heavy for me, but is also maybe the most direct and honest.”
Almost as a purposeful and direct contrast to “Used 2 Dream,” “I Think I’m in Love,” the next track, relays the internal feelings one has when they believe they’ve found someone new to love, despite a bad breakup. It’s almost like a, “one door closes, another one opens,” mentality. It’s a promising light at the end of the tunnel.
“Used,” the second to last track, feels like a departure from the album’s shiny pop feel; rather, it’s as though it defers back to Germany’s rock roots. The track utilizes heavy synths and punctuating drum beats, which are cut by Germany’s falsetto. The song’s biting lyrics provide a painful insight into a soured relationship, and the injustice felt.
The album ultimately closes with the downtempo “Time Goes By.” The track incites nostalgia — which is apropos, considering its title — and essentially requests a journey into the past. “Time Goes By” wants to bring back the good old days, but is actively aware that that can never happen.
“[The album] ended up being a very emotional album that, in turn, became super therapeutic,” Germany remarks. “[It] helped me deal with a lot of stuff personally that I hadn’t given the proper amount of attention.”
PHANGS knows exactly how to acutely tap into human emotion, both in himself and in others. This project, still very much in its infacy, has curated an infectious intrigue around him over the last year. His followers have become manically obsessed, wanting to be a part of everything that he does. (Sorry in advance that we’re not being very helpful in publishing an album review exactly one week from the album’s release).
Get In My Arms is the next step in the evolution of PHANGS. In just one year, it’s amazing to see all that he’s accomplished, and it’s impressive to say the least. With his first-ever string of east coast tour dates slated to begin in August, it’s only a matter of time before PHANGS slowly takes over the world.
“Get In My Arms is the next platform to allow even more!” Germany says. “I already have like, five new songs in a Dropbox folder called ‘PHANGS Album 2,’ so who knows.”
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