Posts Tagged ‘Phoebe Bridgers’

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.


Label: 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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Everything Phoebe Bridgers does makes us fall more and more in love with her, and ‘Kyoto’ is no exception. Double points for the green screen clip which was plan B after Bridgers‘ trip to Japan was cancelled due to the global pandemic. ‘Kyoto’ also comes with the announcement that there is a new album on the way out in June, so watch this space for more Phoebe on the way!

Says Bridgers of the track:

This song is about impostor syndrome. About being in Japan for the first time, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and playing my music to people who want to hear it, feeling like I’m living someone else’s life. I dissociate when bad things happen to me, but also when good things happen. It can feel like I’m performing what I think I’m supposed to be like. I wrote this one as a ballad first, but at that point I was so sick of recording slow songs, it turned into this.

Today’s news also saw her release the album’s next single “Kyoto,” which Bridgers wrote following her first trip to Japan in February 2019. The track has an upbeat feel to it that captures the sound that she and Oberst formed on their collabrative album as Better Oblivion Community Center. With some well placed horns and her now-signature vocals, the song soars and hits an emotional arc like all of her best material always does.

The music video for “Kyoto” was shot on a green screen, after her plans to shoot it in Japan in March 2020 were un-derstandbly cancelled.

“Kyoto,” the new song by Phoebe Bridgers from ‘Punisher’ out June 19th on Dead Oceans.

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Phoebe Bridgers wrote her first song at age 11, spent her adolescence at open mic nights, and busked through her teenage years at farmers markets in her native Los Angeles. By age 20, she’d caught the ear of Ryan Adams, who listened to her perform her song “Killer” and invited her to record it in his studio the next day. The session grew into the three-song ‘Killer’ EP, and she hasn’t looked back.

Do you know what a ‘punisher’ is?” asked Phoebe Bridgers in an interview after the release of her brilliant debut album, Stranger in the Alps. “A punisher is someone who talks to you but they really don’t let you talk to them – but they find a way to make you talk to them. It’s like your aunt who’s like, ‘Hey look at these photos of my dog!’ That’s punishing. It’s stuff you can’t get out of even though the person is very well-intentioned.” It’s the title of her highly-anticipated second record, out this June on Dead Oceans. You know what to do.
Already heralded as one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, 25-year old singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has confirmed details of her sophomore solo album, Punisher, to be released on Dead Oceans on June 19th.

Bridgers is a singular talent, and also the rare artist with enough humor to deconstruct the tired heuristics of a meteoric rise. “Punisher”, written and recorded between the summer of 2018 and the fall of 2019, cements her as one of the most irresistibly clever and tenderly prolific songwriters of our era. Returning to work with her Stranger In The Alps collaborators Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, Bridgers – who co-produced the boygenius EP and Better Oblivion Community Center album – stepped into the role of co-producer for Punisher and has drawn from the same tight-knit group of musicians who appeared on her debut as well as those she has worked with since.

The album includes Bridgers’ band of Marshall Vore (drums), Harrison Whitford (guitar),  Emily Restas (bass) and Nick White (piano) as well as performances from Conor Oberst (“Halloween”, “I Know The End”), Lucy Dacus (“Graceland Too”, “I Know The End”), Julien Baker (“Graceland Too”, “I Know The End”), Blake Mills (“Halloween”, “Savior Complex” and “I Know The End”), Jenny Lee Lindberg  (“Kyoto”, “ICU”), Christian Lee Hutson (“Garden Song”, “Halloween”, “Savior Complex”, “I Know The End”), Nick Zinner (“I Know The End”), legendary drummer Jim Keltner (“Halloween” and “Savior Complex”) and Bright Eyes’ Nathaniel Walcott on horns (“Kyoto” and “I Know The End”).

Punisher was mixed by Mike Mogis, who also mixed Stranger In The Alps.

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Limited Edition “Peacock Splash” Vinyl LP is exclusive to the UK,

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The beautiful new song ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’ is The 1975 at their most fragile and vulnerable,
The haunting acoustic track is taken from the band’s upcoming new album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form”.

Each of the singles released so far from Matty Healy and co.’s upcoming album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ bears a sense of Devil-may-care abandon. ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’, the band’s latest release, featuring the vocals of heart-breaker Phoebe Bridgers, is yet another change of pace from a gang who cherish the unexpected. Stripped down to mostly vocals and acoustic guitar, this track is the simplest song The 1975 have put their name to since Nana’ (from  2016 album ‘I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It’) but that just allows its haunting beauty to shine.

Leaning into Matty’s desire to create something like Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’, it’s stark and personal, made for the comforting embrace of headphones. They’ve played it at live sessions previously and, for a band who embrace being fluid, it’s a testament to the power of ‘Jesus Christ 2005…’ that it hasn’t been tinkered with too much. Its sparseness allows the weighty lyrics room to fully flex.

Balancing at the point of heartbreak, the track sees Matty pondering faith, love and belief. “I’m in love with Jesus Christ,” he sings. “I’m in love with a boy I know but that’s a feeling I can never show.” It’s a world away from the buoyant skip of ‘Me And You Together Song lines, “It’s OK – lots of people think I’m gay but we’re friends, so it’s cool / Why would it not be?”, and packs a gut-wrenching punch. The always-excellent Phoebe Bridgers really elevates the track, though, adding a new point of view. The 1975 have always wanted to soundtracks moments in peoples’ lives and typically that comes in the form of a sense of celebration, but ‘Jesus Christ 2005’ sees them flirt with defeat. It’s fragile and vulnerable. “I’m just a footprint in the snow,” Matty acknowledges. But Bridgers’ lines “I’m in love with the girl next door/her name is Claire /  Nice when she comes round to call / And masturbate the second she’s not there” remind us he’s not the only one with a story to tell.

Seven years since their debut, the 1975 are still reaching new heights – and ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’ is their most heartfelt, emotional turn yet.

The Greta Thunberg assisted  ‘The 1975’ implores rebellious action, Everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience, the teenage activist implores – while the hardcore-inspired ‘People’ sees the band at their most furious. ‘Me And You Together Song’ is a heartfelt throwback to simpler times, mirroring their formative years as Drive Like I Do, while the melancholy ‘The Birthday Party’ released in February – provides a twinkling, dreamlike escape from the everyday.

Dirty Hit, under exclusive licence to Polydor Records and Interscope Records Released on: 2020-04-03

 

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Soon, Paramore leader Hayley Williams will let her first-ever solo album Petals For Armor. She has already shared a whopping five tracks from the LP. Today, she shares a sixth, and it’s easily the most anticipated song on the album.Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus all sing on “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris,” the new single that Williams has shared today. It’s the first time we’ve heard all three members of boygenius together since they finished touring behind their truly great 2018 EP. But this isn’t a boygenius song with Williams on it; it’s the opposite. “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” is a skittering, personal pop song, and it sounds a whole lot like the other solo songs that Williams has released. Like most of those songs, it’s really good, too. It carries serious 1996 modern-rock-radio vibes. And those harmonies really are something.

Williams co-wrote “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” with her Paramore bandmate Taylor York, who produced Petals For Armor, and with pop songwriter and producer Daniel James. It has some seriously busy strings, and the bridge goes hard.

Hayley Williams has shared a new solo single with boygenius, “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris,” taken from her forthcoming album Petals for Armor, out on May 8th via Atlantic Records. “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” is a floral-themed, sultry tune with background vocals from boygenius—the beloved indie supergroup of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. The string arrangements and subtle guitar lines give it a distinctly yearning quality and an underlying sadness.

The 20 best rock songs right now

Phoebe Bridgers wrote her first song at age 11, spent her adolescence at open mic nights, and busked through her teenage years at farmers markets in her native Los Angeles. By age 20, she’d caught the ear of Ryan Adams, who listened to her perform her song “Killer” and invited her to record it in his studio the next day. The session grew into the three-song ‘Killer’ EP, and she hasn’t looked back.

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“When I grow up, I’m gonna look up from my phone and see my life,” Phoebe Bridgers making the endless scroll sound like a welcome escape. It’s an artful return for Bridgers who, despite many collaborative projects, hasn’t released new solo material since 2017.

Seven minutes and fifty five seconds of Heaven for the ears