It was the fall of 1998 when Phantom Buffalo began playing music together. Originally called The Ponys, they played their country-psych, indie-jangle-pop at house parties and in basements while members completed painting degrees and attended various art schools. In 2002, they finally made their way into a studio to record their debut full-length album Shishimumu.
Recorded in 18 hours by Jon Wyman, mastered by David Chepa, and released in the U.S. by Nemo Bidstrup’s burgeoning label Time-Lag Records; Shishimumu soon got the attention of London’s Rough Trade Records who released it overseas in February 2005.
Shishimumu garnered reviews from the international publication MOJO magazine which included the album in it’s 50 best of 2005 and noted “the more you listen the more beautiful and strange it becomes, … Like looking at a beautiful landscape painting and seeing something move in the corner.”
2008 saw the release of Phantom Buffalo’s second album Take to the Trees. Again on Time-Lag Records, Take to the Trees received reviews stating “They have a near-perfect feel for song dynamics, as though their tunes were alive and breating, moving form the barest whisper to a thrumming growl” The Portland Phoenix.
Voted best indie-rock group for three years by their local independent newspaper The Portland Phoenix, Phantom Buffalo continues to play shows and make music in Maine. Look for forthcoming album Cement Postcard with Owl Colors in late 2009.
" As willfully quirky as you might remember them, this five-piece have spent two years making the follow-up to their acclaimed (here at least) debut album. With pure pop in their hearts and artwork that looks like it was ripped directly from the pages of a children’s book (and it may well have been), Take To The Trees will be a familiar salve for the soul for those who resist change, especially when it comes to idosyncratic, indie whimsy. Subject matter includes lightbulbs in the wild, well-meaning squirrels and the Grim Reaper. Which is not to deride this albums charms; they’re in abundance, from Dusty Disguise, upbeat even as it deals with the end of the Earth, or the dreamy sounding 84 Today (about senility’s onset!) and elegantly charged Who Was Your Only Man."