In the five years since Matthew Houck’s last record as Phosphorescent he fell in love, left New York for Nashville, became a father, built a studio from the ground up by hand, and became a father again. Oh, and somewhere along the way, he nearly died of meningitis. Life, love, new beginnings, death— “it’s laughable, honestly, the amount of ‘major life events’ we could chalk up if we were keeping score,” Houck says. “A lot can happen in five years.” On C’est La Vie, Houck’s first album of new Phosphorescent material since 2013’s gorgeous career defining and critically acclaimed Muchacho, he takes stock of these changes through the luminous, star-kissed sounds he has spent a career refining.
When you ask Houck about the cumulative effect of all this life happening in such a short time, he turns philosophical: ”These significant moments in life can really make you feel your insignificance,” he says. “It’s a paradox I guess, that these wildly profound events simultaneously highlight that maybe none of this matters at all…” On this album, Houck reckons with that void — the vanishing point where our individual significance melts into the stars — and sums it up thusly: C’est La Vie.
More about the band:
After Phosphorescent released the Here's to Taking it Easy record in 2010, sole member, Matthew Houck, became so mired in depression, the unthinkable happened: He lost interest in music. By that point he'd already released five excellent psychedelic alt-country albums, but now he wanted to give up music for good. He moved to Mexico to get away from everything. Oddly, this move inspired a bunch of new songs. They became Muchacho, arguably his best work.
"After eight months of touring, we’d gotten to a really good point where we weren’t quite exhausted yet with the material, but we’d had enough time to really grow with the songs. So we were in that sweet spot where we were pulling something great out of the songs every night."
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