Phosphorescent, ‘Here’s to Taking It Easy’ (Dead Oceans)
Singer-guitarist Matthew Houck finds a comfort zone on his fifth Phosphorescent album by allowing his sidemen to shine a little light. The band’s sound is still high, the mood still lonesome, but the instrumentation is less freighted with gloom. “I Don’t Care If There’s Cursing” builds from a bright shuffle to a rumbling piano-led crescendo. And the funereal thump of “Hej, Me I’m Light” is neatly balanced by follow-up “Heaven, Sittin’ Down,” on which Houck accepts life as a little sad, a little messy, but worth the bumps in the ride.