Phosphorescent :: Muchacho

Believe that album cover for three minutes and twelve seconds. That’s how long it takes for Matthew Houck, the Alabama native better known as Phosphorescent, to finish the high-harmonic tilt of “Sun, Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction)” and drain it into the aching, pained, sublime “Song for Zula.” If you’ve been following Houck’s exploits for long enough, “Zula” is only the next piece of evidence in the long case to be made for his specific genius: Very few people write, much less perform, about heartbreak with this much conviction. “Honey, I saw love,” Houck sings. “It . . .

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