Phosphorescent: C’est La Vie review – What’s the meaning of life?

Thu, Oct 4, 2018, 07:00

   
 

Album:
C’est La Vie

Artist:
Phosphorescent

Label:
Dead Oceans

Genre:
Alternative

C’est la vie, she says, but I don’t know what that means,” sings Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck on the title track from his seventh album, an Americana-tinged record that doesn’t reveal the secrets to happiness but celebrates the milestones that make a life.

From meeting his future wife as a result of hanging around in a bar for one more drink on the jaunty New Birth in New England to the beaming affection he has for his son on My Beautiful Boy, he counts the glorious life upheavals that come with age, while noting the moments of stark isolation that are just as important.

Aided by a swirling Wurlitzer, a sharp steel pedal guitar and lone prairie yelps on the intro and outro instrumental tracks, there’s a feeling of finding life and structure in the wilderness. Christmas Down Under places Houck out of his comfort zone and, with Vocoder on hand, he ponders the point of it all, but on These Rocks he finds the point.

Life isn’t one quick fix, it’s a shared experience and once we realise that, the darkness doesn’t disappear but it becomes easier to navigate.

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