Posts Tagged ‘Phoebe Bridgers’

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst come from the same musical orbit. One could even argue, the two songwriters—age 24 and 38 respectively—are like long-lost musical siblings. Though at vastly different points in their careers, both musicians know how to crush and revive listeners with inspired woe, romantic poignancy and their instantly recognizable, consoling pipes.

Bridgers’ breakout 2017 debut LP, “Stranger in the Alps”, and her recent work with critical darling supergroup, boygenius, has safely reserved her position in the club of young singer-songwriters poised for rosy careers. Oberst has dozens of records to his name, most notably with the angsty indie outfit Bright Eyes, then as a solo artist and with bands like Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk. Whether it’s the fictitious firm they reference on their band social media accounts or the album of the same name. With one new song, “Little Trouble” available on their new 7-inch single.

Better Oblivion Community Center is a healing endeavor, and though the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the former, the latter is undoubtedly potent. They capture the serenity of a still lakefront, the spontaneous vigor of a thunderstorm, the lifelong, scenic memories of a childhood road trip and the peaks and troughs of relationships. The two tear-jerking singer/songwriters are at the peak of their powers here, and they’ve managed to distill the exhilaration of that one summer you hoped would last forever and the crackling warmth of a bonfire into 10 effortlessly touching tracks.

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Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberstunveiled their video for “Dylan Thomas,” the lead single off Better Oblivion Community Center’s self-titled debut, surprise-released last week and set for a physical release on February. 22nd via Dead Oceans.

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst come from the same musical orbit. One could even argue, the two songwriters—age 24 and 38 respectively—are like long-lost musical siblings. Though at vastly different points in their careers, both musicians know how to crush and revive listeners with inspired woe, romantic poignancy and their instantly recognizable, consoling pipes. The stars aligned just in time for Bridgers and Oberst to write, record and surprise-drop a haunting new album together for a brand new project: Better Oblivion Community Center—which really is their band name and not actually the name of a utopian old folks home. Better Oblivion Community Center is an unsurprisingly tender, affecting excursion. Its largely upbeat instrumentation ebbs and flows with understated folky strums and scintillating keyboards, and the occasional ray of buoyant rock ’n’ roll peeks out just when you need some lighthearted relief from their lyrics. Though many male-female vocal duos lean heavily on duets, this pair elected to skirt that norm by singing mostly in unison and in harmony rather than engaging in the sometimes cheesy call and response.

The Michelle Zauner-directed video finds Bridgers and Oberst showing up to a gig at a swanky establishment—the Better Oblivion Community Center itself—only to find they’ve been booked to perform at what looks like a very genial cult meet-up taking place inside David Lynch’s brain. The musicians and their cultist audience wear blindfolds and VR goggles interchangeably, playing eyeball bingo and doing trust falls, until Bridgers and Oberst come face-to-face with the smirking observer who would appear to be the author of all this oddity. The video ends with the duo doing the only reasonable thing: fleeing the Better Oblivion Community Center .

Much of the record could still loosely fall into the folk camp, but there are moments that you wouldn’t expect from Oberst and Bridgers. The throbbing electro keyboards of “Exception to the Rule,” the fuzzy rock surge at the end of “Big Black Heart” and the psychedelic guitar swells on “My City” all represent a venture into new frontiers

PHOEBE BRIDGERS  &  CONOR OBERST  - PHOTO BY NIK FREITAS

Better Oblivion Community Center is pleased to share with you a commercial for our cherished center directed by ranking Community Center member Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast.

As promised, in the coming months Better Oblivion Community Center will hold meetings across the US and Europe. We welcome you to experience a healing sound bath – live in concert.

  • 10th-May  Bristol – Academy 11th-May London – Shepherd’s Bush Empire 12th-May Manchester – Ritz

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst (Nik Freitas)

The mysterious band name Better Oblivion Community Center is not only now officially a new project by Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst, their full album, they now have finally revealed that it is the title of their new band and album. Better Oblivion Community Center out via Dead Oceans. The new duo recently performed on the opening credits of Colbert they played “Dylan Thomas” on Colbert.

The album, produced by Bridgers, Oberst, and Andy LeMaster, features Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ guitarist Nick Zinner (on “Dylan Thomas” and “Dominoes”), Carla Azar (drums on half of the album), and Dawes’ rhythm section Wylie Gelber and Griffin Goldsmith (on the other half). Christian Lee Hutson contributes guitar and Anna Butterss provides bass.

Conor Oberst sang on “Would You Rather” from Phoebe Bridgers’ 2017 debut “Stranger in the Alps”. His latest album, “Salutations”, came out that same year. Last year, Bridgers also recently teamed up with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus for the boygenius EP.

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Nobody makes airy, folk-leaning ballads quite like Phoebe Bridgers. Her track “Scott Street” from her debut album Stranger in the Alps is crushingly beautiful—it hurts as much as it heals. However, its Alex Lill-directed video does its very best to lift our spirits and it more than accomplishes this task. “Scott Street” sees a crowd of Bridgers lookalikes, each dressed in black and with silvery-blond wigs, lip-synch, ride a mechanical bull and a double decker bus, hop on trampolines and take whacks at a Bridgers pinata. It’s like watching the greatest birthday party ever held and given those hijinks and the fact that it concludes with a boat ride with the real-life Bridgers under the moonlight, we hope we get the invite for next year’s bash

“Scott Street” from ‘Stranger In The Alps’ is out now on Dead Oceans

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At the tail end of Boygenius’ penultimate song in their live set, Julien Baker shreds on the guitar, playing a classic rock-inspired solo that’s completely out of place in her or either of her bandmates’ back catalogue. It’s something Lucy Dacus mentioned in a recent interview, that in the recording sessions for the Boygenius EP, Phoebe Bridgers would “suggest an idea as a joke, and then we realized, ‘Wait, this is an amazing idea!’” Those lighthearted, playful vibes are very much on display when you see the folk supergroup live; when Baker begins to solo, Bridgers and Dacus try their absolute hardest to get her to laugh, sometimes waving lighters and other times rolling around on the ground. The trio’s live energy is undeniably infectious and the crowd is more than willing to send it right back, even at the end of a show that spans four whole hours. This round of Boygenius shows, likely to be the only ones of their kind, simply represent three good—and generationally talented—friends at the top of their respective songwriting games, having the time of their lives. While there’s a definite “I was there” feeling to these shows, we definitely hope this likely once-in-a-lifetime tour happens again sooner rather than later.

Boygenius performs “Me & My Dog” for Late Night with Seth Meyers.

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New Indie-rock godsends Boygenius aka Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus  made their TV debut on Monday’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, performing the song “Me & My Dog,” one of the three singles from their self-titled debut EP.

Bridgers takes lead on “Me & My Dog,” and if her opening lines (“We had a great day / even though we forgot to eat / and you had a bad dream”) don’t send shivers down your spine, you may want to verify that you have a heartbeat. Seeing Bridgers, Baker and Dacus step to their mics to sing in unison—to say nothing of Bridgers’ towering sustained note at the song’s climax is nearly sublime enough to make one forget what an anxiety-ridden day today is.

The trio surprise-released boygenius on digital platforms on October. 26th, two weeks ahead of its official physical release this Friday, November 9th. Bridgers, Baker and Dacus wll embark on a North American tour together .

Boygenius perform “Me & My Dog” on Late Night

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The good people at Matador Records have finally pulled back the curtain on their new supergroup made up of songwriters Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers. The all-star trio’s self-titled, six-track EP Boygenius is coming out on November. 9th via Matador, but you can hear the project’s first three singles now.

Dacus, Baker and Bridgers’ mysterious and much-anticipated team-up first made waves in early August when Bridgers confirmed its existence at an NPR Music event. Soon after, a media outlet received a photo of the group, accompanied only by the word “boygenius” and the Matador logo. We now know that to be the name of both the trio and their forthcoming release, previewed via lead singles “Me & My Dog,” “Bite The Hand” and “Stay Down.”

Bridgers takes point on the affectionate, yet anxiety-ridden “Me & My Dog,” singing over steady electric guitar strums, “I had a fever / until I met you / Now you make me cool / but sometimes I still do / something embarrassing,” her gossamer vocals giving way to delicate banjo notes and droning synths. Baker’s voice bolsters Bridgers’ as the chorus-less song crescendos, pushing through the fears that obstruct desire. “I dream about it and I wake up from it,” the duo conclude, their voices drowned out by a rising tide of reverb.

Second single “Bite The Hand” is Dacus’ chance to shine, an unflinching declaration of independence that would have fit right in on Historian. What sets it apart from her solo work, however, is its choruses, on which Dacus, Baker and Bridgers harmonize to drop-dead gorgeous and increasingly powerful effect, warning an unwanted partner, “I can’t love you how you want me to.” The song closes on their voices, with nothing but bare conviction against the silence.

The devastating “Stay Down,” meanwhile, is all Baker, her trademark reverb-steeped guitars and emotive vocals expanded upon with scattershot percussion and moving strings. Her lyrics are shot through with heart-rending resignation: “I wasn’t a fighter till somebody told me / I had better learn to lean into the punch / so it don’t hurt as bad when they leave / There you were, turning your cheek,” Baker begins, later demanding, “Push me down into the water like a sinner, roll me under / and I’ll never come up again / I’ll just stay down.” Fuck us up, boygenius.

 

Dacus, Baker and Bridgers head out on tour together this November, though they won’t do so as a trio—rather, they’ll each be performing their own solo sets. But who knows? Judging by the unpredictable way in which their boygenius team-up has come to light, perhaps the collaborators will see their way to delivering some surprises live, as well.

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed Boygenius after booking a tour together, but the trio had subconsciously been in the works for longer than that. Through a series of tours and performances together, and chance encounters that led to friendships – including Bridgers’ and Dacus’ first in-person meeting backstage at a Philadelphia festival, greenroom hangouts that felt instantly comfortable and compatible, a couple of long email chains and even a secret handshake between Baker and Dacus – the lyrically and musically arresting singer-songwriters and kindred spirits got to know each other on their own terms.

“When we met, Lucy and Phoebe and I were in similar places in our lives and our musical endeavors, but also had similar attitudes toward music that engendered an immediate affinity,” Baker explains. “Lucy and Phoebe are incredibly gifted performers, and I am fans of their art outside of being their friends, but they are also both very wise, discerning and kind people whom I look up to in character as much as in talent.”

Listen to boygenius’ EP “Me & My Dog,” “Bite The Hand” and “Stay Down”.

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Phoebe Bridgers track Scott Street an exclusive live performance for Vevo DSCVR, the channel for the best in new music. It’s a real skill to wax forlorn without submitting to the depths of despair. In the last two years Phoebe Bridgers has shown us just how articulate she can be regarding the throubled side of life while still touting the small joys that mark most day to day experiences. Again and again, the singer-songwriter revels in the marvels of the emotional deets that shape who we are. After critics erupted over the eloquence of the 23-year-old’s ‘Stranger In The Alps’ (get the ‘Lebowski’ reference?), the Silver Lake-based Bridgers went through a wave of Joni-Jackson comparisons.

Elements of the masters dot her songs, but some of her more recent heroes are Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek and Elliot Smith – tender wordsmiths whose best work is both vulnerable and poised. If you know Bridgers’ “Smoke Signals” and “Motion Sickness,” you might’ve heard her “Scott Street” before, too. But not like this. Our DSCVR performance turns the tune, inspired by a sunset stroll through her Echo Park hood, into an epic lament. Swirling fiddle lines and cloudy guitar flourishes prove the singer knows exactly what she needs to bolster her designs as she closes with farewell line of “don’t be a stranger.” Masterful.

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Phoebe Bridgers gave indie rock a shot in the arm last year with the wonderful “Stranger In The Alps”, the Los Angeles musician’s debut album – she became one of our favorite artists of 2017, and her song “Funeral” was among our most played tracks of the year’s roundup. Today, she’s back with a beautiful cover of “The Gold” by Manchester Orchestra, and contrary to the title, the Elliott Smith-harkening song is about a relationship that’s lost its lustre

Phoebe’s cover of Manchester Orchestra‘s “The Gold,” the excellent single from last year’s A Black Mile to the Surface. Phoebe doesn’t change the song up too drastically, but she performs it in that same intimate, instantly-gripping way that she performs her own music, and really makes the song sound like one of her own (as she has done with other covers, like the Mark Kozelek song she did for her great 2017 album Stranger in the Alps.

Manchester Orchestra“The Gold (Phoebe Bridgers Version),” out now on Dead Oceans Records.

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In a hotel room near midnight, Phoebe Bridgers shares a lullaby for the lost. You can’t help but hang on for dear life. Phoebe Bridgers was one of our top discoveries going into Austin’s SXSW, a quiet and powerful voice in the loud din of the festival. After she performed at Central Presbyterian Church, a favorite venue,  Bridgers and percussionist Marshall Vore came to NPR host Bob Boilen’s hotel room just before midnight to play the striking song “Smoke Signals.” Stripped of the strings on the studio version, there is still a sweeping quality to this acoustic performance, something like Low’s elegiac waltzes blurred into open chords, suitcase percussion, children’s toy bells and vocal harmony. You can’t help but hang on for dear life.