Posts Tagged ‘Phoebe Bridgers’

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This last year, indie rockers Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers all released acclaimed solo albums. The three Singer Songwriters guitarist-vocalists were booked on a North American tour together, with Baker and Bridgers co-headlining and Dacus opening. But that wasn’t enough: They also quickly formed a supergroup, and gave it a tongue-in-cheek name that nods to how women are rarely called geniuses with the frequency the way their male peers are. After the trio released its self-titled EP, on which they take turns in the frontwoman role and elsewhere blend their voices and instruments together in perfect bliss. The EP’s uniting thread, though, will surely be the clear-cut lyricism they all have in common, which packs a witty punch line after line. Some might even call it genius.

The debut from rock supergroup boygenius has only one real flaw: it’s much too short. Its length (still on the longer side for an EP, at six songs) is forgivable, though: The women behind boygeniusPhoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus—are busy artists. They’ve each released a critically-adored solo LP in the last year or so and have thusly been swamped with promotional duties and live performances. So although these ladies aren’t technically “new artists,” their supergroup is new, and music is better for it. On boygenius, the three become one, miraculously and pristinely so. Bridgers, Baker and Dacus pack a novel’s worth of narrative and as many masterful melodies (not to mention harmonies) into just 21 minutes that will leave you feeling as if you’ve had the wind knocked right out of you.

The album ends on an especially magical note. On “Ketchum, ID,” Bridgers, Dacus and Baker assume soprano, alto and tenor and churn up a harmony so handsomely melancholic you’ll find yourself snatching tissues without even knowing why. It’s a fitting epilogue, too, that chronicles the band’s shared experience as touring musicians, and the emotional heaviness following those long nights in unfamiliar places. “I am never anywhere / Anywhere I go,” they sing in unison. “When I’m home I’m never there / Long enough to know.” Those are devastating words, but, at the same time, you get the feeling Bridgers, Baker and Dacus have found some sense of home in one another.

boygenius performed songs off their first EP live at Brooklyn Steel for Pitchfork Live

Setlist: 0:50 Souvenir 5:10 Bite the Hand 8:50 Stay Down 13:35 Me & My Dog 17:50 Salt in the Wound 23:35 Ketchum, ID

Their mutual experiences are what unite them, and that bond bleeds through this music in every buzzing, beautiful bar.

Fiona Apple Performing

Fiona Apple covered The Waterboys’ “The Whole of the Moon” for the series finale of Showtime’s The Affair. She asked Tony Berg to produce the record. Tony called in Matt Chamberlain, Patrick Warren, Ethan Gruska, Wendy Melvoin, and Phoebe Bridgers. Fiona has worked often with Matt and Patrick and knew Ethan as the brother of her former bandmate, drummer, Barbara. This was the first time she had met Wendy and Phoebe and fell in love with both of them.

In a few hours they produced this beautiful rendition of a classic written by Mike Scott. After Mr. Scott (@ MikePuck) heard the performance he tweeted – “Prepare ye to receive goosebumps.” Fiona practiced the first take in a small vocal closet but when it came time for the main event, Tony moved Fiona into the big room where she had a great expanse to sing into. I tagged along with my new camera which I could barely work because I had forgotten my glasses – couldn’t see the buttons, couldn’t focus. Despite the crappy camera work of a blind photographer, the magic that is Fiona shines through.

This collaboration between Apple and Bridgers feels inevitable. Both “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” and “Punisher” became popular choices for everyone’s albums of the year, respectively, Both artists’ songs are known for having a vulnerable core along with a witty, cutting edge. Fans have fingers crossed that the two talented singer/songwriters will cross paths again in the future.

I hope you enjoy this captivating version of a sublime song. Drums – Matt Chamberlain Patrick Warren Bass – Wendy Melvoin Piano – Ethan Gruska Background Vocals – Phoebe Bridgers

Apple is not the first to take on the song; it’s been a popular one to cover. Other versions of “The Whole of the Moon” have been done by Jennifer Warnes, Mandy Moore and Terry Reid. Prince even covered the song live at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club during his 2014 Hit & Run tour, while U2 have also done it live as part of a medley with “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

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The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space. For her Tiny Desk (home) concert, Phoebe Bridgers chose the White House. OK, maybe it’s a green screen, but she and her team created a sweet mock-up of the Oval Office, with Phoebe performing behind a very special desk. It’s a far cry from the hotel bed in Austin we first filmed Phoebe on back in 2017, but her ambitions and talent run high. She played the Tiny Desk later that year and returned with newfound bandmates, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, as boygenius one year later.

But there was more to come when she surprised us all for a magical collaboration with her musical hero Conor Oberst as Better Oblivion Community Center just six months later. Phoebe and bandmates Marshall Vore on drums and Harrison Whitford on guitar perform three songs from her brilliant new album, “Punisher”. They open with “Kyoto,” a story song based on her first trip to Japan, followed with a sweet version of “Moon Song” and the sad details of loving someone who doesn’t love them self. And then comes the kicker, as Phoebe introduces herself with the words “I hope everybody’s enjoying their apocalypse,” as the band kicks into her surreal doomsday tune “I Know the End.” And what an end it is: The trio expands to an ensemble and a crowd-sourced chorus of fans — recording from bedrooms, cars, backyards and trampolines — lets out the kind of cathartic scream that has come to define 2020 for so many of us. Phoebe for President, 2020.

SET LIST “Kyoto” “Moon Song” “I Know The End”

MUSICIANS Phoebe Bridgers: vocals, guitar; Marshall Vore: drums, vocals; Harrison Whitford: guitar; Emily Retsas: bass; Nick White: keyboard; Odessa Jorgensen: violin

Not content with a charity cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’ and the EP “Copycat Killer”, an orchestral EP of songs from her 2020 album Punisher, Phoebe Bridgers has now released a Christmas cover in November. It is a cover of Merle Haggard’s ‘If We Make It Through December’, of which proceeds from sales and streams will go directly to Downtown Women’s Center, an organisation in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women.

In keeping with her annual tradition of releasing a charity track for the holidays, Phoebe Bridgers latest song is a cover released today on Dead Oceans. 

Produced by Tony BergEthan Gruska and Phoebe, and accompanied solely by Ethan on piano, the beautiful, melancholy rendition of Haggard’s 1974 track is a fitting end to a volatile year. Last year, Bridgers’ holiday single benefited Planned Parenthood. 

Phoebe Bridgers covers “If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard, out November 23rd on Dead Oceans Records.

Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers has shared a new music video for her song “Savior Complex” directed by Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge and starring Normal People actor Paul Mescal. The video came about after the two Phoebes connected over email while quarantined; you can watch it at Facebook.

“Savior Complex” appears on Bridgers’ latest studio album “Punisher”. The singer-songwriter recently issued a companion release, the Copycat Killer EP, as well as a cover of Goo Goo Dolls“Iris” with Maggie Rogers. Last year, Phoebe Waller-Bridge connected with actor Olivia Colman to record a cover of Portishead’s classic “Glory Box.” She comments on the Things That Influenced Her New Album, “Punisher,” in which the singer discussed her admiration of Waller-Bridge. “Dirtbag dudes have Larry David and I have Phoebe Waller-Bridge,” she said. “She strikes a fucking chord in me.”

Phoebe Bridgers remotely appeared on The Tonight Show for a live rendition of her “Punisher” track.

Phoebe Bridgers appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon yesterday (December 2nd) to perform her Punisher and Copycat Killer song “Savior Complex.” Bridgers was accompanied by a self-playing piano. At one point, she shook hands with an adorable dog.

Bridgers sang in a room filled with Christmas decorations . Earlier this week, Phoebe Bridgers had shared a music video for “Savior Complex.” It was directed by Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge and starred Paul Mescal of Normal People fame.

The title track of Phoebe Bridgers’ second album pokes fun at the oblivious fan who, at a concert, will linger at the merch table for too long. Bridgers knows she could easily fill the role, too. “If Elliott Smith were alive, I probably wouldn’t have been the most fun person for him to talk to,” she told The New Yorker. “So I wrote that as if I were the punisher.” The record is the folk singer’s follow-up to 2017’s “Stranger in the Alps”, and her first solo project since she recorded with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker as boygenius and dueted with Conor Oberst as Better Oblivion Community Center.

On “Moon Song,” one of many standout tracks on Phoebe Bridgers’ new album, Punisher, Bridgers sings, “We hate ‘Tears in Heaven,’ but it’s sad that his baby died/ We fought about John Lennon until I cried.” These lines illustrate one of this album’s greatest strengths—while many records are emotionally resonant but emotionally one-note, “Punisher” is always as complex as it is resonant, unsatisfied with easy answers. The couplet wrestles with the conflicted nature of relationships, both between the speaker and another person and between the speaker and music itself. Like much of the record, the song is simultaneously tender, darkly funny, and mournful.

It’s a lot to take in. And just as we’re processing the weight of these lines, Bridgers whisks us away into a vivid dream: “You’re singing at my birthday/ I’ve never seen you smiling so big/ It’s nautical themed/ And there’s something I’m supposed to say.” Punisher, richly produced and beautiful throughout—complete with lush guitars, synth textures, swelling strings, and 2000s indie-rock horns—is a joy to listen to, but it takes some time to truly sink its claws in, revealing the depth of its humour and sadness. Certain lines kept swirling around in my head after the third listen: the one about whether Elvis “believed songs could come true” off “Graceland Too” or the moment when Bridgers sings, “I’m not afraid of hard work” on “Garden Song,” the album’s lead single.

“Garden Song” may be the most familiar song to fans of Bridgers’ first record, Stranger in the Alps—its slow, stately pace, its guitar picking and ethereal atmosphere, and, most importantly, its lyrics, which create their own self-sustaining universe. Like a faded memory or a rear-view vision of childhood, it’s a world that is at once familiar and strange, a tale of wrong, ghosts, healing, and the work of making things, if not right, then more whole. Bridgers’ voice is joined on the chorus by Bridgers’ tour manager Jeroen Vrijhoef’s resonant bass vocals. Elsewhere on the record, we hear Conor Oberst on “Halloween” and “I Know the End,” Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus on “Graceland Too” and “I Know the End,” along with many others.

The record is a triumph of collaboration, but it is always guided by Bridgers’ vision. Punisher was co-produced by Bridgers this time aroundalongside Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, who produced Stranger in the Alps—and at every point Punisher is more expansive than its predecessor, both in terms of its instrumentation and its songcraft. Classic Phoebe Bridgers slow-burners like “Garden Song” and “Halloween,” which recall her mostly downtempo debut, float alongside uptempo tracks like “Kyoto” and “I See You,” which reflect Bridgers’ fantastic indie rock collaborations, both as one-third of boygenius and one-half of Better Oblivion Community Center. The dynamic variation on Punisher is one of its greatest strengths. Although the downtempo tracks still set the tone, the addition of tracks like “Kyoto” keeps listeners on their toes.

Punisher, as punishing as it can be, is largely an affirming record. (Apparently, the title refers to the kind of fan who stays at the merch table way too long.) There’s an existential kind of determination to it, perhaps best embodied on “Chinese Satellite,” a moving meditation on doubt, faith, and loss: “Took a tour out to see the stars/ But they weren’t out tonight/ So I wished hard on a Chinese satellite/ I want to believe/ Instead I look at the sky and I feel nothing.” A classic story of spiritual desolation amid the disenchantment of modernity, perhaps. But when no star or God is forthcoming, artists latch on to what they see, forging their own spirituality, based on what symbols are available—in this case the satellite will have to do.

I tend to link the stubborn spirituality of this record, its determination to make beauty out of an ugly world, back to the album’s lead single, “Garden Song,” in particular to the line, “I’m not afraid of hard work,” as it relates to gardening, which is to say fostering life. The album’s closer, the shape-shifting “I Know the End” is as affirming as the apocalypse gets, beginning straightforwardly enough before settling into an incredibly cathartic build—complete with kick drums, horns, and screams—which busts the song wide open. It’s easily the most intense track on the album, but when all the instruments drop out and all that’s left is Bridgers’ voice, something between a death-metal scream and a low hiss, there’s a knowing playfulness to it. The humour that’s made her Twitter legendary often surfaces in Punisher’s heaviest moments, and maybe that’s part of what makes the album a source of hope rather than despair, for all its sorrow. In an interview with Amanda Petrusich in the lead-up to Punisher’s release, Bridgers joked, “Here’s my thing, for your emptiness.” Enjoy.

Dead Oceans released June 18th, 2020

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The first time I heard this song, I knew immediately it would become one of my favourites of the year. For one thing, one of my other favorite musicians (Sara Watkins, of Nickel Creek, Watkins Family Hour and I’m With Her fame) plays fiddle on this gorgeous, gut-punch-of-a-song, and there’s no shortage of banjo, either (an instrument Bridgers has implemented lightly on songs in the past like “Demi Moore,” but never like this), and Bridgers’ boygenius counterparts Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker provide backing vocals.

This is a bluegrass-emo-banjo banger, and while some of the lyrics could sound, at first listen, like a quote pulled from an Etsy poster with mountains in the background (“She could do anything she wants to), Bridgers owns it so hard—and still manages to convey that sense of wanderlust. There’s mention of southern hallmarks like Elvis and his Memphis habitat, plus eerily descriptive details like “a sleeve of saltines on my floor in my room.” . Phoebe Bridgers doesn’t write love songs as much as songs about the impact love can have on our lives, personalities, and priorities. Punisher, her fourth release and second solo album, is concerned with that subject. To say she writes about heartbreak is to undersell her blue wisdom, to say she writes about pain erases all the strange joy her music emanates. The arrival of Punishercements Phoebe Bridgers as one of the most clever, tender and prolific songwriters of our era.

It has what makes many great songwriter so great: overly personal, descriptive details matched with some prevailing human emotion that could apply to almost anyone. Bridgers is the real deal, and I’m thrilled she dropped her new album, “Punisher”, a day early so I have some extra time with this song.

Recorded Oct. 27th, 2019 at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles. Billed as a “secret guest,” Phoebe performed an opening set for Lucy Dacus.
Bridgers pulls together a formidable crew of guests, including the Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Christian Lee Hutson and Conor Oberst as well as Nathaniel Walcott (of Bright Eyes), Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jenny Lee Lindberg (of Warpaint), Blake Mills and Jim Keltner as well as her longtime bandmates Marshall Vore (drums), Harrison Whitford (guitar), Emily Retsas (bass) and Nick White (keys). The album was mixed by Mike Mogis, who also mixed Stranger In The Alps.

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Phoebe Bridgers will return with her new album “Punisher”, which will be released on June 19th via Dead Oceans. She’s already shared both “Kyoto” and “Garden Song” from the album and now she’s most recently returned with third single, “I See You.”

Originally entitled “ICU,” the song’s spelling was changed to “I See You” and is actually about her break-up from her drummer Marshall Vore, who she co-wrote the song with. It’s a sprawling take on the sound that Bridgers created on her debut, with a more expansive reach than before, but it doesn’t stray too far from the sound that listeners fell in love with.

Says Bridgers of “I See You”: It’s about my breakup with my drummer. We dated for a few years, made music every day, and were extremely codependent. We became like family to each other, so our breakup was extremely tough. But if this tells you anything about our relationship, we wrote this song together, just like everything else.”
She’s also creatively launched her “Phoebe Bridgers World Tour” which will see her live stream from places in her house, such as her kitchen, bathroom and bed.

Punisher is her sophomore album, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut album, Stranger in the Alps, released in September 2017 via Dead Oceans. For Punisher she reteamed with Stranger in the Alps’ producers/collaborators Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, although this time Bridgers co-produced the album with them. Mike Mogis mixed the album, as he did with her debut.

Bridgers is releasing a new album, Punisher, on June 19th the next track she has shared “I See You,” via a lyric video featuring hand shadow puppets. She has also announced “Phoebe Bridgers’ World, Tour,” which is really Bridgers doing live streamed concerts from different rooms in her house, each in conjunction with a different media outlet.

“I See You” by Phoebe Bridgers from her upcoming record ‘Punisher,’ out June 19th on Dead Oceans.

Folk singer-songwriter and Phoebe Bridgers super friend Christian Lee Hutson is about to release his new LP “Beginners”. “I went with “Beginners” as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life — like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world,” Hutson says. He co-wrote several songs for Bridgers’ boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center records, and in return, she recorded and produced the entirety of his album at LA’s Sound City Studios.

Christian Lee Hutson shared another Beginners track “Get The Old Band Back Together”, which arrives with a video starring album producer Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst.

We’ve already heard a few songs from the upcoming Beginners “Northsiders,” “Lose This Number,” “Talk.” And now, Hutson has shared one last advance single before the record’s release later this month. “Get The Old Band Back Together,” which features Conor Oberst on Harmonica, Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy on electric guitar, Sharon Silva on harmonies, Anna Butterss on bass, and Marshall Vore on drums, is a warm, comfortably melodic folk-rocker.

“Get The Old Band Back Together” by Christian Lee Hutson from the album ‘Beginners,’

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“A few years ago I ran into the drummer of a still-together band from my high school, who had just been kicked out,” Hutson explains. “When he told the singer he’d been considering becoming a building inspector, the guy gave him an ultimatum: the band or inspecting buildings. He chose to inspect buildings, a decision that may have been impacted by the fact that the band never played a show or recorded a song. Still, he was pretty bummed about it, and that gave me the idea for this song.

“I had been wanting to make something with my director friend Michael Tyrone Delaney, who’d had this idea to splice up old talent show footage with footage of me and some friends showcasing some of our own ‘talents,’” he continues. “My partner, Sharon Silva, showcases her Irish dancing. My childhood hero, Conor Oberst, takes an aggressive, impromptu harmonica solo in the video (and on the recording). My adulthood hero and best friend, Phoebe Bridgers, plays a master of puppets. We shot it in April so everyone had to self tape. Every single he’s released has been stellar. I’ve been raving about “Northsiders” and “Lose This Number” for months now. This guy is the real thing and I can’t wait for the record.

Bridgers and Huston are good friends and frequent collaborators. He co-wrote songs for her Better Oblivion Community Center project with Conor Oberst, and her boygenius project with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.

On how he picked the LP title, Hutson explains, “I went with Beginners as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life – like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world.”

“Talk” by Christian Lee Hutson from the album ‘Beginners,’ available May 29th

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On his ANTI- Records debut “Beginners”, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Christian Lee Hutson embeds every lyric with his most intimate self-dialogue, sharing painful confessions and private jokes, imagined conversations and elaborate daydreams. The album—produced by his friend and collaborator Phoebe Bridgers—spotlights a nuanced songcraft and understated candor that all but erases the distance between feeling and expression. Throughout this collection of songs, Hutson ultimately speaks an illuminating truth about regret and forgiveness and the endless confusion in growing up.

“I went with Beginners as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life—like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world,” Hutson notes.

Hutson and Bridgers recorded Beginners at L.A.’s legendary Sound City Studios, but purposely preserved the homespun quality of his cell-phone-recorded demos. “With almost all the songs, we started with my voice memos and then figured out what to add—if anything—as opposed to going in with some grand idea of what it should sound like,” Hutson recalls. “Phoebe and I have the same musical shorthand, which made it really easy to share and add to each other’s ideas.” Beginners mines its subtle textures from Hutson’s warm vocals and graceful guitar work, and also unfolds flashes of sonic brilliance achieved with the help of its guest musicians—including Bridgers herself, as well as Nathaniel Walcott of Bright Eyes (who created all the string arrangements for the album, in addition to playing trumpet).

On Beginners’ softly heartbreaking lead single “Lose This Number,” Hutson reveals one of his greatest strengths as a songwriter: a rare ability to infuse his lyrics with myriad idiosyncratic detail, yet leave the narrative slippery enough for the listener to fill in their own meaning. Throughout the song—inspired by a loved one’s ordeal in what Hutson refers to as “knowing you really fucked up and there’s no way to go back”—his storytelling is threaded with incisive turns of phrase (e.g., “It’s like I was born on the back of a bullet/With your name written on it”).

An album steeped in impossibly vivid memory, Beginners moves between tender nostalgia and self-effacing humor on “Northsiders”—a song about “all the posturing you do in high school because you don’t know who you are yet,” according to Hutson (sample lyric: “Morrissey apologists/Amateur psychologists/Serial monogamists/We went to different colleges”). His often-bemused reflection on growing up in L.A. turns to “this very common experience of kids I knew getting sent to rehab at a really young age” on “Seven Lakes.” And on “Get The Old Band Back Together,” Beginners slips into a strangely joyful mood as the track slowly warps into an epic sing-along sending up Hutson’s own teenage hubris.

The Santa Monica-native took up guitar at age 12 and soon started self-recording on a four-track in his bedroom, largely inspired by the DIY sensibilities of artists like Elliott Smith. Hutson’s universe has expanded considerably since then, having co-written a song on the 2018 debut EP from boygenius and two on the 2019 debut LP from Better Oblivion Community Center (with whom Hutson also toured as both a guitarist and support act). Last year, he toured supporting artists including Julia Jacklin and Okkervil River as well.

With the release of Beginners, Hutson hopes his audience might find solace in his deliberate emotional transparency. “I want people to feel like it’s okay: we’re all here fucking up all the time; we’re all just learning and living, and it’s going to be all right,” Hutson says. “I don’t even know if I fully believe that, but it’s the voice I always wished I had in my life.”

Christian Lee Hutson is the musician the Reply All guys hired to record that insanely catchy song they were trying to discover on this month’s viral episode. His own new song, “Talk,” owes less influence to U2 and Barenaked Ladies but is a delicate, Phoebe Bridgers-produced reflection on a man’s life with a family in both the past and future.

“Talk” by Christian Lee Hutson from the album ‘Beginners,’ available May 29th

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