Muchacho

Phosphorescent


Vinyl LP $18.98

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2013, Dead Oceans

VINYL FORMAT. Matthew Houck likes to work. The Alabama native, now-Brooklyn resident has delivered five albums as Phosphorescent since his 2003 debut. Houck has a highly distinctive artistic voice and a refreshing, rolled-sleeves approach to his expression. 2007's Pride, a delicate and haunting work of ragged country and bittersweet gospel, first caused ears to swivel in Phosphorescent's direction. He followed it with To Willie, a tribute to Willie Nelson, then 2010's Here's To Taking It Easy, an enthusiastic plunge into country rock and Americana. Now, his sixth album Muchacho flashes yet another color in the subtly- shifting Phosphorescent spectrum.

Muchacho reprises the understated melancholia and sensuous minimalism of Pride, while kicking up a little of Here's To Taking It Easy's dust, but it also strikes out into more adventurous waters via rhythm and electronic textures. It took shape partly as a result of events beyond Houck's control. After spending the best part of 18 months touring his last record, Houck was, in his words, "pretty fried". He returned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard studio where he'd recorded his previous two albums, planning on "taking this whole thing down a few notches. I wanted to make music but I was weary, so the spectre of putting anything out and getting back on the road was a bit of a block," he explains. Exactly as 2012 turned, Houck's life began to unravel. A domestic crisis meant he had to find another apartment at short notice, in the dead of winter. His life was falling apart, but almost perversely, "songs just started happening, and there were five or six of them." After a week spent in Mexico finishing the songs that would become Muchacho, he went back to NYC, found a new place, fitted it out, and began tracking the record. It's indicative of Houck's distinctive talent, dedication to his work and trust in his muse, then, that a temporary hurdle didn't become a serious block. "I got clear of it by just getting to work on the recording," he says simply. Sleeves rolled, resolve fixed, Muchacho delivered.

Tracklisting

Disc 1
1 Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction)
2 Song For Zula
3 Ride On / Right On
4 Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master)
5 A Charm / A Blade
6 Muchacho's Tune
7 A New Anhedonia
8 The Quotidian Beasts
9 Down To Go
10 Sun's Arising (A Koan, An Exit)



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