8.6

Phosphorescent: Here's to Taking It Easy

Music  |  Reviews
Text
Phosphorescent: <em>Here's to Taking It Easy</em>

On the road again

Last year, Phosphorescent braintrust Matthew Houck released a tribute to Willie Nelson featuring eleven well-chosen covers that avoided obvious hits and sentiments. He and his honkytonk band have obviously learned from that endeavor: The songs on their gorgeously sadsack follow-up Here’s to Taking It Easy evoke lost days and lonely nights with keen observations and road-weary melodies.

“Baby, all these cities, ain’t they all startin’ to look all the same?” Houck laments on the rip-roaring opener “It’s Hard to Be Humble (When You’re from Alabama),” as the horn section roars ahead with trucker’s speed and the pedal steel somehow evokes both Junior Brown and My Bloody Valentine. All of Houck’s southern eccentricities remain gloriously intact, from his eloquently hangdog vocals to his minimalist songwriting on “Hej, Me I’m Light.” Best of all is “The Mermaid Parade,” an ode to a bicoastal break-up that’ll have you shedding a tear in your PBR.

Sign up for the Paste newsletter Get our daily summary of the day's top articles and new items. Sign Up Thank you! Your email address has been added to our list. You will begin receiving our newsletter within 48 hours.

Paste Magazine example 1 Paste Magazine example 2 Paste Magazine example 3