• phosphorescent C'est la Vie (CD, £10.50)

    label: Dead Oceans

    First new Phosphorescent album in 5 years is Matthew Houck’s most grand and varied album to date. This record will delight old Phosphorescent fans but find a brand new audience for his unique take on wild Americana.  For years, Phosphorescent’s rise was a steady one: tours got a little better, rooms got a little bigger and with it the music became more intricate, more ambitious in its recording and arrangement. Then came ‘Muchacho’, a juggernaut that to date has sold over 100,000 worldwide. Now, five years later, Phosphorescent returns with his seventh studio album, ‘C’est La Vie’.  Recorded in Nashville at Matthew Houck’s own Spirit Sounds Studio, ‘C’est La Vie’ reveals a crystallization of what made ‘Muchacho’ such a breakout - a little sweetness and a little menace, sometimes boot-stomping and sometimes meditative.  A lot of life was lived between these records: Houck became a father (twice), built his studio, escaped New York. And ‘C’est La Vie’ does have a hefty, career-spanning feel. There’s a newfound wisdom too, however, a deeper well for all that livin’.  The magic of Matthew Houck’s music has always been the way he weaves shimmering, almost golden-sounding threads through elemental, salt-of-the- earth sounds. It’s not experimental exactly but it’s singular and it’s definitely not traditional. That knack, the through-line across the Phosphorescent catalogue, is front and centre here.  “Matthew Houck is a gutsy, one man band who, when he wants to, can imitate a choir of heartbroken angels” - Esquire.  “Throughout, Houck solidifies his standing as one of the most remarkable voices around” - The Line of Best Fit.  “Unquestionably excellent” - Q.

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