Before recording under the name Phosphorescent, Matthew Houck traveled the world playing under the moniker Fillup Shack and self-released a limited pressing of the album Hipolit in 2000. Houck later changed his recording name to Phosphorescent, and released the full-length LPA Hundred Times or More in 2003. Notably, in the liner notes of A Hundred Times or More, Fillup Shack is credited with the drum recordings. The album was released through Athens-based independent label Warm Records. The following year, he released the EPThe Weight of Flight. Phosphorescent rose to wider critical acclaim after releasing Aw Come Aw Wry in August 2005 and Pride in October 2007. The latter was named the 12th best album of 2007 by Stylus Magazine and received an 8.0 rating from indie website Pitchfork Media. In 2009, inspired by Willie Nelson's tribute album to Lefty Frizzell To Lefty From Willie, Houck crafted a tribute album to Nelson himself entitled, To Willie which was released through Dead Oceans. Phosphorescent released Here's to Taking It Easy in 2010.
Muchacho, Phosphorescent's sixth studio album was released in 2013 to critical acclaim.