Phosphorescent: Muchacho

Jack McManus on March 19, 2013

Dead Oceans

Until the album’s second side reintroduces the strings and lap steel guitars that have defined Matthew Houck’s work for almost a decade, the first few tracks of Phosphorescent’s sixth studio album seem to abandon his trademark Brooklyn country-folk style in favor of a new synthesized, modern sound. While fans may be surprised to hear thumping bass, handclaps and sampled drum loops on tracks like “Ride On/Right On” and “Song for Zula,” Houck’s earthy, hoarse vocals keep the experiments grounded and familiar as the singer/songwriter explores new abstract textures. With their howling vocals and layered barroom piano vamps, the conventional country numbers often match the sun-drenched feeling of the opening tracks, connecting Muchacho to the project’s roots even as it explores unfamiliar sonic territory.

Artist: Phosphorescent
Album: Muchacho