Phosphorescent Live on KCRW — Song for Zula + Ride On / Right On

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Early this year, on a chilly grey SoCal day, I put on Phosphorescent’s album “Muchacho” and heard a song so good that I can instantly return to that exact day in my mind. I love a song so powerful that it marks you in a moment.

Song For Zula” is THAT good and I’ve been waiting the rest of the year to hear it live, and they did not disappoint.

With a lyrical nod to Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, frontman and songwriter Matthew Houck gets deep on love and loss on the soaring Zula and performed it beautifully with the help of a 7-piece band live on MBE.

I wasn’t expected this set to be such a rollicking affair but it most definitely was, with Ride On / Right On” being one of my favorites.

Matthew seems strengthened by his musical cohorts and happy on the road. A long way from where he was before he started work on the album.

As the story goes, he was burned out from touring and took several months off from lyric writing. He was developing “textures” in his home studio and eventually some songs appeared and then the lyrics came along with them.

It was even better live than I could have expected and definitely worth a visit in the archives.

Phosphorescent MBE Set List

Song for Zula
Down to Go
Terror in the  Canyons (The Wounded Master)
Ride On / Right On
A New Anhedonia