Phosphorescent Here's To Taking It Easy

When Gram Parsons came up with the concept of Cosmic American Music in the late '60s, he probably didn't expect it to take several decades for musicians to actually understand what he was talking about. Phosphorescent are certainly one of those bands. Here's To Taking It Easy, the Brooklyn, NY-via-Athens, GA quintet's follow-up to their 2009 Willie Nelson tribute album, To Willie, applies the current pop aesthetic to country rock, resulting in a glowing sound worthy of the band's name. Main man Matthew Houck has raised his songwriting game considerably in the meantime, as evidenced by instantly memorable tracks "It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)" and "The Mermaid Parade." With trippy pedal steel guitar and spot-on harmonies, Here's To Taking It Easy has all of the earmarks of Parsons' vision. The difference is that Phosphorescent aren't at all obvious about it. This is simply an album that can be enjoyed on its merits from start to finish, whether you know your alt-country history or not. (Dead Oceans)