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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