Phosphorescent, AKA Alabama-born Matthew Houck, is something of an American throwback. Albeit one with a twist, adding subtle beds of electronics to his inherited folk and country sounds. And despite a disinclination for ‘grand statements’, ‘Muchacho’ (his seventh record in ten years) is exactly that. Consisting of Houck’s forlorn drawls and deceptively simplistic multi-instrumentation that slowly expands into elaborate arrangements, the record conjures visions of Appalachian meadows and rolling prairies. Yet, this is no outing in kitsch. Instead moments such as Houck’s near breaking voice in ‘Muchacho’s Tune’ tale of being “fucked up” make this a beautiful outing in hauntingly pastoral heartbreak. Impressive.
Words by PETER ADKINS