Matthew Houck's first new Phosphorescent release in five years chronicles a life-altering period which saw him fall in love, start a family, leave New York for Nashville, and build a studio from the ground up. With a focus on translating these profound experiences to music as intuitively as he could, Houck pushes the boundaries of what a Phosphorescent record can sound like, balancing the earthy and the incandescent, the troubled and the serene, creating his own musical cosmos in the process. Nowhere is this more evident than on "New Birth In New England," a deceptively breezy snapshot survey of some of those life-altering events, condensed to five genre-defying minutes. C'est La Vie reveals a crystallization of what made Muchacho such a breakout - a little sweetness and a little menace, sometimes boot-stomping and sometimes meditative. The magic of Houck's music has always been the way he weaves shimmering, almost golden-sounding threads through elemental, salt-of-the-earth sounds. It's not experimental, exactly, but it's singular and it's definitely not traditional. That knack, the through-line across the Phosphorescent catalog, is front and center here.
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