Chimpomatic

Phosphorescent

Pride

Dead Oceans

There must be a moment in the sleep process and indeed the death process that is akin to the waking up, a moment where the two states cross over and if this moment were to freeze it would be near impossible to tell whether the body was regaining consciousness or receding. Phosphorescent's 2nd album is cleverly placed in this moment and though it is one of the loneliest and barren records I've heard since Bonny 'Prince' Billie's I See A Darkness it is clearly frozen in a state of waking up. This is not a conclusion I've arrived at easily. Any hint at the direction this record is taking is subtle to say the least, but that is where it's success lies.

Phosphorescent is the work of Matthew Houck and though this sound is comprised of many voices and musical accompaniments it is Houck who leads this choir. Like the afore mentioned Prince Billie, Houck's voice quivers and shakes like a fragile flame. His music is stark and minimal. The production is hollow and there is very little in the way of bass to provide you with any warmth. Periphery noise is often prominent with voices and shuffling creating a sense of emptiness behind Houck's intimate whispering. These are prayers set to music, some people would call that a hymn but these are more intimate and personal than that. 2005's Aw Come Aw Wry was a different affair from Pride, full of marching bands and evangelical fervor but here Houck takes the same sentiment but expresses it in a far more subtle and mystical way. The result is a more spiritual-sounding record.

The start of the album is very different from the end. A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise and Be Dark Night conjure up the most desolate of landscapes. As cold, dark nights loom we huddle round these saddest of Christmas carols for a glimpse of warmth. Wolves is a divine piece of work. With the help of a gently plucked ukulele Houck starts off, "Mama there's wolves in the house, mama they wont let me out." In this song we see the albums aim to ward off this approaching death. "They make for my heart as their home."

By the time you get down to My Dove, My Lamb the approach has shifted. This song and the next - Cocaine Lights - are twice the length of their predecessors and serve as a total immersion in this prayer. They stubbornly take their time in a Dylanesque repetition of verse and chorus and they are simply dazzling. Were it not for the closer Pride which is over six minutes of wailing these two songs would end the album in uncompromising beauty.

This record creates this bleak image of cold and dark and yet at its heart there is so much warmth. It shows you the world outside but subtly gathers around you and holds you close. Houck's final line on Cocaine Lights ends this truly special album perfectly and sees this vulnerable, flickering flame show encouraging signs of burning bright. "I will recover my sense of grace, and rediscover my rightful place, yes and cover my face with the morning."

Buy this album now.

#BC
#Music

6th Dec 2007 - Tumblr

4

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Related

Phosphorescent

Here's To Taking It Easy

Akron/Family

Cargo, London

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Thoughtful, stylish drama with a zen central performance.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Oct 2020

Read more 4 star reviews

Search

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Stiff, poorly paced innovative film that hasn’t aged well.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Oct 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Onward

Inspiring, tightly scripted gem - overlooked by lockdown.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Oct 2020

Read more 4 star reviews

The Informer

Standard-issue airplane movie, with Joel Kinnaman standing in for Vin Diesel.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Oct 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Motherless Brooklyn

Sub LA Confidential gumshoe thriller - with an underplayed USP. Ed Norton misses again.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Sep 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Glass

Over explained threequel, that undermines a low key original.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

18th Sep 2020

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Snowpiercer

Intriguing, but generally incomprehensible sci-fi gobbledegook.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st Aug 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Buffaloed

Fun, textbook indie comedy.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Aug 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Jumani

The Next Level

Marginally less fun sequel, but still plenty of laughs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Aug 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

The Deer Hunter

Beautifully imagined and lovingly restored, but it still alternates between a snail’… https://t.co/6bZj694rnx.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Aug 2020

Read more star reviews

21 Bridges

Surprisingly enjoyable plane movie, though it owes a lot to the magnificent Copland.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Aug 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

The Switch

Tension-free Bateman rom com. Lacking rom and com.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Aug 2020

Read more 2 star reviews

Ad Astra

Incredibly stylish and wannabe cerebral sci-fi, that’s ultimately a little thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Jul 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

First Man

Underwhelming space drama that’s a bit too intimate and not very epic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Jul 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Blue Story

Dire, tension-free postcode gang drama. Just add drama.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Jun 2020

Read more 1 star reviews

Apollo 11

Magnificent documentary, re-assembling the moon landing from beautifully remastered footage.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Jun 2020

Read more 4 star reviews

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The 8th slow-paced Tarantino pic. Literally half entertaining / boring.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th May 2020

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Yesterday

Entertaining Brit-com, though it’s a bit on-the-beaten-path for Danny Boyle.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Apr 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Juliet, Naked

Mildly enjoyable, thoroughly forgettable Nick Hornby pic ...once you get past the contrived set up.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Apr 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Shazam

Kid-friendly(ish), super fun superhero movie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Mar 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Lion King

Impeccably realised remake, but it’s emotionally flat.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Mar 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Galveston

Standard festival thriller, with some style and decent moments - but it’s all a bit thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Mar 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Alladin

Surprisingly enjoyable, Guy Ritchie-fied Disney remake.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Mar 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Mapplethorpe

Cookie cutter biography that could literally have been written from his Wikipedia page.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Mar 2020

Read more 1.5 star reviews

Horse Girl

Text book indie, literally days out of Sundance. Interesting until it gets a bit too wacky.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

9th Feb 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Mid90s

Strong slice of 90s skate nostalgia. Slow and subtle.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Feb 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Phantom Thread

Considered character study that strays into pretentiousness here and there.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Jan 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Rocketman

Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Avengers

Endgame

Yet another biggest-battle-yet, with more than a passing nod to BTTF2.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mystify

Michael Hutchence

Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Dec 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Captain Marvel

Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Star Wars

The Rise of Skywalker

Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Marriage Story

Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Widows

Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

The Irishman

Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Joker

Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Nov 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Frozen 2

Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The Mule

Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Nov 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The King

Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Nov 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

El Camino

Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Vice

Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

Minding the Gap

Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Manchester by the Sea

Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Spider-Man

Into the Spider-Verse

Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Dora & the Lost City of Gold

Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Aug 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Breath

Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Aug 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

A Star is Born

Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Two For Joy

Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mary Poppins Returns

Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Jun 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews