Compact Capsules for August 3, 2010
by Dan Ferguson
Here's to Taking It Easy
Dead Oceans Records DOC025
Best country record of 2009? A strong case could sure be made for To Willie from Phosphorescent. A woozy beaut of an album, it found Brooklyn-based Matthew Houck and band aping a mix of Willie Nelson staples and obscurities in their own unique and often cosmic-leaning country way. The 2010 follow-up Here's to Taking It Easy is the perfect segue moving from the all-covers format of To Willie to all originals each song aglow with a snapshot quality and similarly intoxicating cosmic dressing. Be it broken heart ballads ("The Mermaid Parade" a centerpiece) or swirling honky tonk rambles, Phosphorescent shines. Visit www.myspace.com/phosphorescent.
Phosphorescent appear at Club Hell at 73 Richmond Street in Providence on Saturday, August 14. Show time is 7 PM.
Kirtland Records KR-49
On her debut titled Suburban Nature, Dallas-based singer/songwriter Sarah Jaffe sings songs like she's been through the relationship ringer in both hurtful and happy ways. Be it stark, intimate backdrops or those numbers lavish and chamber pop-like, Jaffe has a voice with an expressive quality that truly grabs the ear. Not far into her 20s, she displays wads of promise and is obviously a voice to keep a watchful eye on. Visit www.kirtlandrecords.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)