Saturday, November 5, at the Replay Lounge.

Phosphorescent 

Saturday, November 5, at the Replay Lounge.

Phosphorescent's albums, as well as the band's short but heartfelt EP, are the kind you reach for when you could use a companion — someone to share in an inspired, poetic struggle that your friends would only mock. Singer Matthew Houk — an Alabama-born resident of Athens, Georgia — delivers a sincerity and familiarity rare among today's more guarded, image-conscious vocalists. But it's more than that. Combining a rickety, Southern, shy-cowboy sound with lush keyboards, dramatic string-and-harmonica crescendos and what sounds like an entire room full of perpetually clapping friends, Houk can do happy, as in the triumphant "When We Fall"; he can do Sad Lonely Bastard, as on the melancholy "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"; and, on his new album, Aw Come Aw Wry, he can even do carefree and lazy, with songs such as "I Am a Grown Man (I Will Lay in the Grass All Day)." But whatever Phosphorescent's songs are about, even the sad ones, they all sound a little like humble prayers of thanks.

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