Published Oct 04, 2018Fifteen years and seven albums into his career, Matthew Houck (aka Phosphorescent) still sounds like he has something new to say. It's not just because he's trying to expand his craft on C'est La Vie, it's because he's literally got something new to say.
In the five years since his last record, the much-celebrated Muchacho, Houck fell in love, started a family, moved to Nashville and built a studio, where he recorded his latest LP. No only do tracks like the heartland rock of "There From Here" and the earnest folk of "My Beautiful Boy" seem to be written about his new life, but much of the album also feels autobiographical, as songs like the jaunty "New Birth in New England" and the vocoder-assisted "Christmas Down Under" come off as the most buoyant and celebratory pieces Houck has ever written.
But what makes this nine-track/45-minute LP so fascinating is just how many ideas Houck injects into it, throwing layers of piano, wordless backing vocals and ambient effects into the mix. Phosphorescent's latest is nothing less than a moody celebration, an album that gives a jubilant new meaning to the saying "c'est la vie." (Dead Oceans)