Posts Tagged ‘Stranger In The Alps’

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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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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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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.

On one hand, Phoebe Bridgers’ debut album features desperately downcast lyrics like “Jesus Christ, I’m so blue all the time / And that’s just how I feel / Always have and always will.” On the other, the singer-songwriter’s website resides at phoebefuckingbridgers.com, and the title of Stranger In The Alps is a nod to the ludicrously edited-for-TV version of The Big Lebowski. Maybe these glimpses of humor are just Bridges trying to let the world know that she’s actually okay. Because listening to this mortally sad, yet frequently magical debut, you might be led to believe she’s irretrievably despondent.

But Bridgers’ melancholy is her truest artistic friend, and she taps that deep well for some incredibly strong songs that are presented gracefully whether she’s keeping things austere or adding orchestral color. Stranger starts with an unstoppable pair of singles in the swirling “Smoke Signals” and the album’s most upbeat moment, “Motion Sickness.” The former indicates an album that could’ve gone a much different way: Two clicks slicker and a bit of a dance beat, and it might be a mainstream hit ballad for someone like Ellie Goulding. But Bridgers keeps it intimate, complete with references to dead heroes—Bowie, Lemmy—and songs about loneliness (specifically The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now”). “Motion Sickness,” meanwhile, offers the album’s only real hopping pulse and singalong chorus.

After that, it’s on to a trio of songs that will receive inevitable, justified, and flattering comparisons to another sad L.A. troubadour, Elliott Smith. “Funeral,” “Demi Moore,” and “Scott Street” are all clearly indebted to Smith—particularly that last one, which begins with a line that’s almost a direct tribute: “Walking Scott Street feeling like a stranger / with an open heart, open container.” Even though it’s close, it’s not slavish, and Bridgers pulls off the rare trick of emulating someone so singular and delicate without losing the emotion. “Killer” might even be more brutally beautiful than some of Smith’s best; on it, Bridgers is joined by X frontman John Doe, whom she asks to “kiss my rotten head and pull the plug.”

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If this all sounds like a depressing slog, it’s actually quite the opposite: Like the best sad-bastard music, Stranger In The Alps alchemizes sorrow into redemptive beauty. It’s never about wallowing, but about slowly moving through it. That difference, played out over some incredible, wise-beyond-her-years songwriting, makes it one of the best albums of the year.

Sometimes I feel like this record is one of the biggest risks I’ve taken in my life. But it’s the kind of risk that’s a necessity, so it doesn’t feel risky at all. From the moment the album appeared in my mind, it knew where it was going – my job was just to clear the path.
In a time of intense uncertainty, it felt good to harness a spirit of recklessness, which sometimes is the only thing that can stand up to the anxiety you would otherwise feel.
This record is about staring down dark things and seeing them fully, which isn’t the same thing as acceptance. It’s just a necessity in and of itself, and something that can empower.
It’s also about playing music with my friends, love, ideas, and everything else that chose to tumble onto the page over the last year and a half.
I’m so proud to be able to bring it to you today.  Tamara Lindeman The Weather Station.

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Julien Baker’s 2015 debut Sprained Ankle earned her spare, intimate songwriting a passionate following. The title track is as close to indie classic status as a song that’s hardly two years old can be, meaning fans have eagerly awaited new material since Baker announced she’d signed to Matador Records earlier this year. She’s announced her sophomore album and first full-length for MatadorTurn Out the Lightswhich arrives October 27th.

Alongside the album announcement comes “Appointments,” the album’s second song and a slow, twinkly setting for Julien Baker’s signature confessional hush. listen to the song below,

Stranger in the Alps artwork

L.A. singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers’ debut LP is a collection of songs about intimacy, documenting how our relationships affect the way we view ourselves and interact with others.

Phoebe Bridgers’ career has been propelled by fellow musicians. Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, and Julien Baker have all sung the praises of the 23-year-old Los Angeles singer-songwriter, leading up to her full-length debut Stranger in the Alps. Fittingly, the album itself is also populated by other artists: Bridgers writes about lost legends like Bowie and Lemmy down through the local hobbyists who haunt their hometowns like ghosts in faded band tees. In “Scott Street,” she reads into how an old flame tells her his drums are “too much shit to carry.” In “Motion Sickness,” one of the year’s most exquisite breakup anthems, she lands her harshest jab in the chorus: “Hey, why do you sing with an English accent? I guess it’s too late to change it now.”

Stranger in the Alps is a collection of songs about intimacy, documenting how our relationships affect the way we view ourselves and interact with others. The crux of Bridgers’ writing arrives in small details: a casual exchange of words, a song played on a long car ride, the moments we relive in our heads once we get back home. Bridgers’ voice has a breezy, conversational flutter that helps her stories of heartbreak and loss avoid morbidity. She sounds best when she double-tracks it in layers of light falsetto: an effect that, depending on what she’s singing, can sound sweet and soothing or scalding like feedback

Phoebe Bridgers Stranger in the Alps Best Alt-Folk of 2017

She’s forever friends with Julien Baker and Ryan Adams has called her “the Next Bob Dylan” – but this dark folk singer-songwriter isn’t intent on shining in anyone else’s spotlight. Yet you’ll hear Baker and Elliott Smith and Sharon Van Etten and so much more when you listen to her music, as she falls in line with one of the most beautiful genres as much as she defines a niche for herself.

There will be a twang of Van Etten, the talk-sing of Dylan, angst of Adams, bawl-inducing emotion of Baker, and understated timelessness of Smith as Bridgers sonically bridges the divide between the best of the best in her debut full length. Not many other musicians can master that feat by their early 20s. And I’m pretty sure I’ll still be listening to her and this album in particular when I’m in my 60s.

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Phoebe Bridgers might be a relativly new artist, but she already has an impeccable CV. Her debut three-song single, Killer, was produced and released by Ryan Adams, she’s toured with Conor Oberst and Julien Barker, and is set to release her debut album on the excellent Dead Oceans Records . That album, “Strangers In The Alps”, is out next month, and ahead of the release this week Phoebe has shared the video to her latest single, “Motion Sickness”.

Building around reverberating guitars and driving drum beats, Motion Sickness has a touch of The War On Drugs, if they were fronted by Mackenzie Scott or Hazel English. Lyrically it seems to deal with trying to escape the ups and downs of a struggling relationship, as Phoebe sings, “there are no words in English I can sing to drown you out”.The video, directed by Justin Miller, was apparently inspired by Phoebe’s, “brother Jackson singing “Down With the Sickness” to me in karaoke with 100% commitment in an orange jumpsuit”, it is predictably excellent.

Phoebe Bridgers is a musician with a hugely bright future and more importantly if it all sounds good it’ll be thoroughly deserved. Stranger In The Alps is out September 22nd via Dead Oceans.

Phoebe Bridgers – Killer

Produced by Ryan Adams at Pax-Am Studios, Bridgers is – in Adams’ words — a “musical unicorn” who “could make a jar of sand sound like ‘Blood On The Tracks’”.  Possessing vulnerability and strength in equal measure, Phoebe Bridgers is one of my favorite up and coming singer-songwriters. I love what she’s doing, I’m excited to see what she does next, and I hope you enjoy it as well. 

I met Ryan through my boyfriend, Marshall Vore, another amazing songwriter. We all hung out, I played Ryan some songs, and the next day we recorded three of my songs. Just me, singing and playing Ryan’s guitar, with his doctor, his actual literal doctor, on pedal steel.

“Killer”Phoebe Bridgers. From the EP Killer.

Phoebe Bridgers releases her debut album ‘Stranger In The Alps’ on Dead Oceans Records. She has been writing songs since age 11, Bridgers spent her teenage years performing at open mic nights and busking throughout her hometown before recording a debut three-song single, “Killer,” with Ryan Adams in his L.A. studio. “Killer” was released on Adams’ Pax-Am label in spring of 2015. So far we’ve heard the first two tracks from plaintive singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers’ imminent debut album  “Smoke Signals” and “Motion Sickness.”

Now she’s sharing the album’s third song, and it’s just as impressive. In keeping with its title, “Funeral” is a dark and mournful ballad about singing at the memorial service “for a kid a year older than me.” There’s a gentle simplicity and grace in these guitar chords and violin accents that resembles some of Bridgers’ talented collaborators and tour mates; think Ryan Adams in his Heartbreaker era or the trembling minimalism of Julien Baker. “Jesus Christ, I’m so blue all the time,” Bridgers sings, “And that’s just how I feel/ Always have, and I always will.”

Phoebe Bridgers“Funeral” from ‘Stranger In The Alps’ out September. 22nd on Dead Oceans.

“Stranger in the Alps” is Phoebe Bridgers new album out on September 22nd, 2017 on Dead Oceans