Posts Tagged ‘Noah & Abby Gundersen’

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The Lord Huron song “The Night We Met” found its way into the massively popular, albeit oft-maudlin, series, 13 Reasons Why with a new take on their hit song featuring the noir-ish indie songstress Phoebe Bridgers. 

“The Night We Met” is a track from Lord Huron’s 2015 release, the spacey indie-folk travel log “Strange Trails”. Bridgers’ vocal contribution expands the song’s already-haunting melody to encompass a deeper sense of melancholia, something she also comfortably emits on her critically adored 2017 LP Stranger in the AlpsLord Huron’s Ben Schneider and Bridgers are likely collaborators, too: Each have traversed the spectrum of indie-folk sounds, though Bridgers says she isn’t yet committed to a confined style.

Lyrically, her gorgeous 2017 debut album Stranger in the Alps – which she recorded independently before being signed to the Dead Oceans label – grapples a lot with death. The late Lemmy from Motörhead and David Bowie are both referred to, while the song Funeral was inspired by a boy Bridgers knew who died of a heroin overdose. “Jesus Christ, I’m so blue all the time and that’s just how I feel, always have and always will,” she sings, the mournful mood recalling the late American miserabilist Elliott Smith.  Yet, in person, Bridgers could hardly be sunnier. “I didn’t realise there was such a heavy theme on the record until I started recording the album.

The standout single from Stranger in the Alps, was “Motion Sickness” it has amassed more than half-a-million views on YouTube and is an exquisite evisceration of a former lover. “I faked it every time,” she sings, before landing another blow to the solar plexus: “And why do you sing with an English accent?/ I guess it’s too late to change it now.”

The song, she tells me, is about the Grammy-nominated singer- songwriter Ryan Adams, whom she met in 2015. “A mutual friend in LA was like, ‘Ryan would like you’. He really was just trying to get me recording and trying to get Ryan to hear me, but Ryan was like, ‘Let me see a picture of her’.” Bridgers says that she and Adams “ended up hanging out all night and recording a song together called Killer. Then, a couple of weeks later, he was suddenly trying to hook up with me. I was super-down and had just broken up with my high-school boyfriend. We slept together on his 40th birthday and I’d just turned 20.”

She wrote Motion Sickness after they broke up. What did he think of it? “We were back on good terms by then but after I sent him the song he didn’t talk to me for 24 hours. Then he sent me a sweet text saying ‘it’s a great song’,” she says. “Yes, interesting character…”

Bridgers wrote “Smoke Signals” in a cabin outside Ketchum, Idaho, last spring. It finds her somberly emoting against a backdrop of guitar chords and orchestral swells. Sometimes her words are poetic: “I wanna live at a Holiday Inn where somebody else makes the bed/ We’ll watch TV while the lights on the street put all the stars to death.” Other times she’s more straightforward but just as powerful: “All of our problems, I’m gonna solve them/ With you riding shotgun, speeding ’cause fuck the cops.” References to Bowie, the Smiths, and Motörhead might capture your attention, but the recurring image of trash burning on the beach is what will linger with you.

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“Smoke Signals” is out digitally and available as a 7″ backed by “Motion Sickness (Demo)” at Bridgers’ upcoming shows.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is an Music favorite she’s already been one of our ones to watch.  Her ” Stranger in the Alps” was one of last year’s best debuts. Singer Songwriter Noah Gundersen has spent the last decade breaking out slowly and steadily, releasing a long string of well-received albums and EPs.

Last fall, Bridgers opened for Gundersen on a tour that stopped in the latter’s Seattle hometown. The two actually go way back she used to sell merch at his shows — so sharing a stage gave them the idea to visit Seattle’s Studio X and record an eight-minute medley of their songs with help from Gundersen’s sister Abby. It’s remarkable how well their voices and songwriting blend as they swap verses and share choruses: Bridgers’ “Killer” stuns in any setting, and Gundersen’s “The Sound” is a revelation in their collective hands. Performed back to back, the two songs sound hauntingly beautiful.

Bridgers is one of Gundersen’s biggest fans: “I’ve been a fanatic Noah fan since I was a teenager,” she writes via email. “He changed the way I write music, made me more comfortable with being honest in my songs. Getting to sing with him was like getting pulled onstage by your favorite band during a show.” The feeling, it turns out, is mutual.

“I’m just a big fan of her work,” Gundersen writes. “I listened to her record obsessively and I wanted to make something with her. This was recorded on our last day of tour together, when we all had a few spare hours in the afternoon.”

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Phoebe Bridgers’ debut albumStranger in the Alps, is out now via Dead Oceans Records. Noah Gundersen’s new record, White Noise, is out now via Cooking Vinyl.