The major musical touchstones of Phosphorescent leader Matthew Houck have never been very far from earshot: He likes the outlaw country of Willie Nelson (he made a Willie cover album, after all) and the evocative moan of Bonnie "Prince" Billy (notice the wolves references), the scattered grace and playfulness of the Elephant 6 Collective (he's a Georgia dude) and the cosmic ache of Gram Parsons (just listen to his records). But Houck has folded all of these giants into a catalog that has steadily become peerless. Perhaps our best young advocate of Americana unbound by expectations of what that needs to be, Houck makes music that feels referential yet personal, tied to the past yet decidedly about the present. This year's Muchacho continues an incredible streak of albums that have combined craggy Crazy Horse rock and bleary-eyed orchestral opuses. You can spot the reference, sure, but you can't shake the feeling.