This week I had the pleasure of listening to American singer-songwriter, Phoebe Bridgers. It would have been impossible for me to get to this point in my life without being aware of some of her incredible music, notably her work alongside my dreamboat Conor Oberst with Better Oblivion Community Center, but it was another matter altogether to recognise what she has already contributed to the world of music.
Phoebe Bridgers has, to date, released two albums. 2017’s Stranger in the Alps and 2020’s Punisher. Both of them bring an absolute sucker punch of acoustic songs into being and demand attention. It is clear why she has become the indie darling that she deserves to be, and is continuously heralded for the music she creates. That said, I couldn’t write up my thoughts on her two albums without acknowledging her performance on SNL where she smashed her guitar and everyone got mad about it as if it didn’t fit in with the ethos of the show or her music or she didn’t do it properly or whatever. None of that matters when it’s her performance and as such, she can do whatever she likes. Watching that clip back again with the effect her music has had on me this week makes it all the more poignant.
It got more people talking about her music, and if you’re able to get people talking without being a dick, then you deserve all the praise.
Whether it is on Didn’t Know What I Was In For from BOOC, Motion Sickness from SITA or Kyoto from Punisher, there are elements of Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, Camera Obscura, Elliot Smith and any number of other beautiful influences that to me it feels are on display and make her work as special as it is.
Long may Phoebe Bridgers share this with us all.
My Spotify playlist of artists for 2022 will be built up here.
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