Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck recently told SPIN that he felt compelled to dress up his latest album Muchacho with ornate instrumentation and left-field production. “Several of these songs, I think, had to be produced in a strange way,” he said. “Otherwise, they would have just fallen flat… To me, they seem a little raw, and listening back now, with distance, sometimes it’s like, ‘Sheesh, you don’t need to say all of that in a song. Why do that?'”
Despite the string swells and the synth washes, Houck’s vulnerability shines through on lead single “Song for Zula,” which the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Alabama singer-songwriter performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night (April 23) to a well-earned ovation. Backed by a collection of violins, conga drums, keyboards, and guitars, the Muchacho maestro gently sings over a steady electro pulse, “I will not open myself up this way again.” Don’t miss it.