Phosphorescent

Thursday

SXSW Platters

Phosphorescent

Pride (Dead Oceans)

There's a looming darkness to Phosphorescent's Southern Gothic. Whereas the ornate orchestration and pastoral variations of theme on 2004's masterful Aw Come Aw Wry allowed shafts of light in the form of redemption and grace, third LP Pride spins about as bleak as Nico's The Marble Index. Despite reverb-drenched walls of harmony, Matthew Houck doesn't even seem present in "Be Dark Night," while his animal imagery in "Wolves" and the broken hymnal "My Dove, My Lamb" underscores helplessness and abandonment. Those sentiments deepen with the harrowing, piano-lit "Cocaine Lights," in which Houck chokes, "In the darkness after the cocaine lights, I will miss you more than ever." As if searching for something tangible, the title track closes with a sobering nine minutes of primal, backwoods hollering that's anything but light at the end of the tunnel. (Thursday, March 13, Mohawk Patio, 8pm.)

***

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Phosphorescent, SXSW

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