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Thursday, April 22, 2010

MP3 of the Day: Phosphorescent's Escape From the City

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 9:52 AM

SEBASTIAN MLYNARSKI
  • Sebastian Mlynarski
It's gettin' on camping season in California, and New York act Phosphorescent has the perfect soundtrack for leaving the city for the suckers. Here's To Taking It Easy, out May 11 on Dead Oceans, is a pretty joyous batch of twang-heavy tunes with the backcountry in mind. I threw this disc on around midnight last night, woke up at 7 a.m., and have had Taking It Easy on repeat ever since. Something about the pedal steel, harmonica, and Matthew Houck's soft drawl that gives these songs an irresistibly dreamy edge.  

Take this ramblin' man tune: "It's Hard to Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)." The song depicts an escape from the blur of metropolitan life, the horn sections and mini-Dead jams helping cary the song into green pastures. It's the opening track to a record that moves in mood between whisky-by-the-bonfire anthems and starry-eyed-by-the-sleeping-bag ballads ("Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)" is a gorgeous little valentine with a hint of piano behind all those finger-picked guitars, and "The Mermaid Parade" pines a lost lover during a crowded street fair.) The record is a push-back against the grind, a graceful liberation if there ever was one. 

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Ian S. Port

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