In a week that has just been filled with great new music (Joanna, Shearwater, New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene) and great music news (The Walkmen, Hold Steady, LCD Soundsystem, possibly M.I.A.?), it’s Phosphorescent that I’m finally getting around to sharing with y‘all. Pride, the band’s 2007 effort, was a huge hit with me - one of my favorites of that year and the decade as well. Last year’s To Willie, an album of Willie Nelson covers, was an entertaining placeholder and a way for lead singer/songwriter Matthew Houck to kick off his boots and demonstrate that he’s just as comfortable singing straight country tunes as he is with his own enigmatic folk songs.
Here’s To Taking It Easy will be the first collection of new Phosphorescent songs since Pride dropped back in October of 2007. It will also be the first time Houck has recorded with his full touring band (as huge and spacious as Pride was, it was the work of Houck alone). The first song Dead Oceans has chosen to share is the rollicking “It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama). Driven by horns, a propulsive tempo, and a tongue planted firmly in cheek, this song is a far cry from Pride’s creaky, hymn-like ruminations. It’s also a welcome burst of melody - something that suggests Houck has gone in a somewhat different direction. Well Giddyup. Here’s To Taking It Easy gets born May 11.