Enlarge The Rage Against the Machine guitarist teams up with the trip-hop revivalists.

Tom Morello and Phantogram Team Up on New Track, “Driving to Texas”


Phantogram, for those unaware, are the absolute bee’s knees. My first exposure to them came at the 2017 Governors Ball festival in NYC. Shortly after I’d arrived at the festival grounds, I met up with some friends, smoked a J, chugged a mixed drink… and whewwww, I was just in that PERFECT state to get into their brand of tripped out tunes. It made an impression, I’ll say that; other than Tool, who headlined, they were my favorite act of the day, and I got HARD into their 2016 album, Three, afterwards.

I don’t think I need to describe to anyone reading this who Tom Morello is. If you need a refresher, try this link.

The two parties have teamed up on a new track, “Driving to Texas,” which will appear on the Rage Against the Machine guitarist’s upcoming collaboration-filled solo album, The Atlas Underground Fire. It immediately sounds more Phantogram than Morello — some serious Massive Attack vibes here — and I think that’s a good thing. I like to hear Morello leaning into the strengths of each of his songwriting partners rather than just slapping their trademark on top of his. I wouldn’t even know Morello were involved if I hadn’t been told!

Morello explains:

“‘Driving To Texas‘ (feat. Phantogram) is a dark journey, a struggle for a tortured soul. The vocals, the sound textures, even the guitar solo evoke a terrifying counter reality where the road to the abyss beckons sweetly. I’d worked with Josh on the 2018 ‘Atlas Underground’ album and was thrilled when Phantogram reached out to collaborate again. Sarah’s voice is haunting and beautiful and Josh’s production is so fresh and eerie.”

The Atlas Underground Fire comes out on October 15. Country singer/guitarist Chris Stapleton, Dennis Lyxzén of Refused, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder are a few of the other guests involved.

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