Monday, September 24, 2007

New Phosphorescent

"Musicians often head to New York - it's a familiar story. But something magical happened when Matthew Houck picked up stakes halfway through making his new Phosphorescent record, Pride, and moved to Brooklyn from Athens, Georgia. Pride is something different. Here, Houck channels something mystical and haunting, offering up a dark, meditative set of songs that is all the more spiritual-sounding for its restrained tone. On previous albums, he's recruited guest musicians to fill the gaps, but on Pride, Houck has only enlisted the services of a makeshift choir, otherwise recording every instrument himself. His achingly cerebral delivery recalls Arthur Russell, but honestly, Pride sounds like nothing else we've ever heard. These are poems uttered in an empty field, punctuated by shouts and hollers, as if from a singer either abandoned or possessed. The lyrics are Houck's strongest ever, wrapped in washed out choral etudes that could be channeled from a rural French chapel or a solemn African tribe in prayer. Pride sounds like it was made by a man set free. The album will be released October 23rd on Dead Oceans."
"At the base level, Matthew Houck, is a singer-songwriter/folk artist, but one who is pushing the boundaries to the point that he no longer sounds like his contemporaries. For example, although sometimes sparkled with occasional piano, guitar and some other instruments, the main event is his otherworldly voice. On songs like the almost a cappella "Be Dark Night", his high outstanding voice is stacked up against each other to create a wonderful choir. In fact, the track and much of the production work, ends up sounding like a Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys record. And like these Brian Wilson studio experiments, the song manages to be powerful, quiet, peaceful and deeply emotional all in one."
  1. A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise
  2. Be Dark Night
  3. Wolves
  4. At Death, A Proclamation
  5. The Waves at Night
  6. My Dove, My Lamb
  7. Cocaine Lights
  8. Pride
You can read all about Phosphorescent and hear more songs at Daytrotter, and download a live performance at Southern Shelter.

Tour dates:
  • Sep 27 2007 Monkeytown Brooklyn, New York
  • Oct 9 2007 Messiah College Grantham, Pennsylvania
  • Oct 10 2007 Bug Jar Rochester, New York
  • Oct 11 2007 Test Pattern Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Oct 12 2007 Beachland Tavern Cleveland, Ohio
  • Oct 13 2007 DAAC Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Oct 14 2007 AV aerie Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 15 2007 Canopy Club Urbana, Illinois
  • Oct 16 2007 Huckleberry’s Rock Island, Illinois
  • Oct 17 2007 TBA Omaha, Nebraska
  • Oct 18 2007 Hi Dive Denver, Colorado
  • Oct 19 2007 Kilby Court Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Oct 20 2007 TBA Boise / Provo, Idaho
  • Oct 22 2007 Sunset Tavern Seattle, Washington
  • Oct 23 2007 Towne Lounge Portland, Oregon
  • Oct 24 2007 Hemlock Tavern San Francisco, California
  • Oct 26 2007 El Cid Los Angeles, California
  • Oct 27 2007 Casa Blanca Phoenix, Arizona
  • Oct 29 2007 Cactus Cafe Austin, Texas
  • Oct 30 2007 Rubber Gloves Denton, Texas