Phosphorescent's album Pride. Available here on LP and CD.
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. While it's not without the moments of sheer abandon that have made Phosphorescent's work unmistakable—“At Death, A Proclamation” thunders into familiar territory—mostly gone are the messy marching bands and evangelical fervor. Here, Houck instead channels something more 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. In fact, Pride sounds broken free of time and place altogether. Yet still it is warm, familiar, and welcoming.
LP - Standard LP.
CD - Standard CD.