Gorgeous record friends...that's my immediate impression after two times through Muchacho, the latest album by Phosphorescent (Matthew Houck). The record has it all, country-rock, folk-pop, psychedelic sing-alongs, and many more signifiers that don't require hyphens. Let me put it this way, Muchacho is a good way to kick-off spring.
Phosphorescent's sound is going to be compared to My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes because of the soaring reverb laden lead vocals, but as the record plays guitar based 70s country-rock influences emerge. These "roots" based epics (mostly because of the heroic swells in the arrangements, rather than prog like "concepts") have world weary subjects, yet sound beautiful. The opening and closing "prayer" songs, "Sun Arise! (An Invocation, An Introduction), and "Sun's, Arising (A Koan, An Exit)" remind me of what Brian Wilson achieved with "Our Prayer" on the Smile album. The choir of heavenly tones sets up the spiritual rough road, and lays us to bed with hope in our hearts.