Phosphorescent

Pride (Dead Oceans Records)

What is it about these indie folksters using pseudonyms? Samuel Beam goes by Iron and Wine, and Will Oldham has recorded under Bonnie "Prince" Billy and various Palace monikers. Then there's Matthew Houck, who's been recording and performing as Phosphorescent for the past seven years. Fittingly enough, Houck's latest effort, Pride, could easily bookend the work of either Beam or Oldham—though his aching, unhurried vocal delivery shines in a slightly different light. The album's opening cut recalls the psych-folk of Gary Higgins's Red Hash, with Hauck playing the guitars, bass drum and tambourine slaps—a trend that continues throughout the record. More of a stripped-down affair than 2005's Aw Come Aw Wry, Pride essentially serves as a showcase for Hauck, who's credited with creating all the sounds on the album—save for some lovely and ghostly reverb-soaked backup vocals on "Wolves" and "My Dove, My Lamb."

 
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