Tag Archives: Phoebe Bridgers

New Phoebe Bridgers video: Savior Complex

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “Savior Complex”

Phoebe Bridgers - Savior Complex (Official Video)

Directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. From Punisher, out now on Dead Oceans.

In a humorous yet not entirely unexpected move, indie darling Phoebe Bridgers has tapped the similarly named creator of the BBC hit series “Fleabag” to direct a music video. Phoebe Waller-Bridge directs Phoebe Bridgers. Get it? Ha ha.

I love this song. I love Elliott Smith. Phoebe Bridgers certainly doesn’t attempt to hide her love of Elliott Smith. On 2017’s Stranger in the Alps as soon as I heard the chorus of “Demi Moore” I was like, oh, this person loves Elliott Smith as much as I do. I was not wrong.

Bridgers has gone on the record as saying that Smith’s music is “like The Beatles to me, and I mean that in every way. If someone doesn’t like his music, I actually feel like I’m not going to agree with them about anything. It informs everything I like.”

The title track of her latest album features an imaginary conversation with Smith: “What if I told you I feel like I know you / But we never met?”

I get that.

It also contains the lines “Hear so many stories of you at the bar / Most times alone, and some looking your worst / But never not sweet to the trust funds and punishers.” If you’ve ever met one of your heroes and shamelessly gushed to them how much they mean to you until their eyes glazed over, you know what it’s like to be a punisher. We all try to be cool but it’s hard to shut off that valve once you start pouring your guts out.

My all-time favorite “Elliott Smith being nice to strangers” story comes from Buddyhead’s Travis Keller:

In the summer of 1999 I talked my friend Marko Shafer into driving 1,000 miles with me from Los Angeles to Olympia, WA last minute to attend a DIY festival he knew little to nothing about called Yo Yo A Go Go. I was excited to see The Make Up, Thrones, Sleater-Kinney, Dead Moon but the main attraction was without a doubt Elliott Smith. But when we arrived at The Capitol Theater we learned that the show was sold out. Determined to get in despite the odds, I walked down the side alley of the theater and saw Elliott Smith standing by the back door. I shit you not. He was wearing a trucker hat that said “WHO’S THE BOSS?” and pulling from a cigarette as you’d expect him to be. I explained to him that my friend and I had drove all the way from Los Angeles to see him play but couldn’t buy tickets, in a way only a fan-dorking 19 year old could. To which he replied with something along the lines of “Well I’ve got two guest passes and no friends, wanna be my friend?” And like that he finished his smoke and led us in the back door. We walked past several bands who were setting up their gear, and Elliott asked “Who’s the boss” which immediately got the response as if on cue “you are Elliott!” Elliott then led us to the side of the stage where I sat for the entirety of his performance and shot this photo. You could hear a fuckin’ pin drop in that sold out theatre of 1500 people. Afterwards, we went to a bar with Elliott and chatted. I think it was my second time in a bar ever. He was beyond sweet, seemed generally interested in what I had to say. He was funny, intelligent and charming. One of the realest people I ever met and I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to be around him while he was here.

“Savior Complex” is Bridgers’ most Elliott Smith sounding song since “Demi Moore,” especially the way she sings “But I’m too tired to have a pissing contest…” It’s classic. And it’s great.

The video is cute too. Spoiler: The dog’s the protagonist.

Phoebe Bridgers: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Phoebe Bridgers video: Savior Complex

New Phoebe Bridgers: I Know the End

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “I Know the End”

Phoebe Bridgers - I Know the End (Official Video)

Directed by Alissa Torvinen. From Punisher, out now on Dead Oceans.

Well at least now we know how Phoebe Bridgers keeps wearing those skeleton jammies without them disintegrating off of her body: She’s got a whole locker room full of them!

But that’s the only optimistic part of this whole video, which perfectly conveys the existential dread of life in during a pandemic. Keep washing your hands, but they’ll never get clean. You’re constantly haunted by ghosts of your past self and your dying future. And it all culminates in a completely socially distanced concert at an empty Los Angeles Coliseum.

The billboard said The End Is Near
I turned around there was nothing there
Yeah, I guess the end is here.

The final message seems to be: Kiss old age goodbye. Embrace death. We’re all doomed.

Phoebe Bridgers: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Phoebe Bridgers video: Kyoto

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “Kyoto”

Phoebe Bridgers - Kyoto (Official Video)

Directed by Nina Ljeti. From Punisher, out June 19 on Dead Oceans.

It’s got to be so hard being a musician right now with no way to tour to make any money. How do you even promote an upcoming release if you can’t assemble a crew and make a video?

Well, as we’re seeing, artists are getting creative and doing it themselves, working from home like the rest of us.

In Phoebe Bridgers’ new video, she gallivants around Japan without leaving the comfort of her jammies. Dead Oceans says the original plan was to shoot the video on location, but who needs that hassle when you’ve got a green screen and some old Godzilla footage? Plus, you know, the whole global pandemic situation…

The only evidence of potential social distancing violations is a little hiccup with the person holding the fan who accidentally gets into the shot. They’re fired!

Day off in Kyoto, got bored at the temple
Looked around at the 7-11.
The band took the speed train, went to the arcade
I wanted to go but I didn’t.

Bridgers says, “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.”

We love your ballads, Phoebe Bridgers, but this is good too!

Phoebe Bridgers: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Phoebe Bridgers video: Kyoto

New Phoebe Bridgers video: Garden Song

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “Garden Song”

Phoebe Bridgers - Garden Song (Official Video)

Directed by Jackson Bridgers. Single out now on Dead Oceans.

Phoebe Bridgers is the best. I’m a sucker for sad sack dad rock, and Bridgers isn’t exactly that, but she ticks all the boxes that make me love Elliott Smith, Wilco, and Phosphorescent so much. Her 2017 album, Stranger in the Alps, has been in heavy rotation on CarPlay in my Subaru since she released the video for “Killer” and I realized how amazing she was.

Since then she’s released collaborations with boygenius (with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker) and Better Oblivion Community Center (with Conor Oberst) and sang a song with the guy from the National (which I meant to share but never got to it…it’s pretty good!). She also produced an album by Christian Lee Hutson and the two songs that have been released from that so far are both amazing.

So yeah, I’ve been excited to hear new solo material and “Garden Song” is a tasty appetizer.

And when I grow up I’m gonna look up
From my phone and see my life

Can’t wait to hear more!

Also: DO BONGS.

Phoebe Bridgers: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Phoebe Bridgers video: Garden Song

New Christian Lee Hutson video: Northsiders

Video: Christian Lee Hutson – “Northsiders”

Christian Lee Hutson - Northsiders (Official Music Video)

Directed by Gus Balck. Single out now.

I have been on a huge Phoebe Bridgers kick lately so when I heard that she produced this song, I jumped on it. It blew me away the first time I listened to it and continues to get to me every time.

The following verses reminded me of being a teenager so bad it made me gasp:

We were so pretentious then
Didn’t trust the government
Said that we were communists
And thought that we invented it

Morrissey apologists
Amateur psychologists
Serial monogamists
We went to different colleges

The whole song evokes the awkwardness of a time in your life when you’re trying so hard to be cooler and smarter than you really feel. There’s an emotional intensity to those years that grownups quickly forget. On purpose. It’s painful to remember how strongly you felt things when you were young, all while pretending to be nonchalant and aloof.

Hutson has said, “‘Northsiders’ is sort of a collage of memories I have of several different friends from high school. I think it’s about the friendships you develop that make you feel seen and understood at that time in your life where you feel invisible and misunderstood.”

The double-tracked chorus (“Nothing’s going to change it now”) sounds as much like Elliott Smith as anything I’ve heard. (The only thing that comes close is the way Phoebe Bridgers sings, “I don’t wanna be alone anymore” in “Demi Moore.”)

So who is this guy? Hutson is a 28 year old songwriter from Los Angeles who co-wrote “Ketchum, ID” with boygenius as well as “Chesapeake” and “Forest Lawn” for Better Oblivion Community Center. He’s been releasing solo material since 2012, and lately, he’s been touring with BOCC. No word yet on when a new album will come out or on what label.

But if he’s got an album’s worth of material half as good as “Northsiders” it’s going to be a something else. Wow.

Christian Lee Hutson: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Better Oblivion Community Center video: Dylan Thomas

Video: Better Oblivion Community Center – “Dylan Thomas”

Better Oblivion Community Center - Dylan Thomas

Directed by Michelle Zauner. From Better Oblivion Community Center, out now on Dead Oceans.

This is so good! And when’s the last time Conor Oberst has looked this happy? Phoebe Bridgers clearly brings out the best in him.

This whole album is great. Which shouldn’t surprise anybody. Their collaboration on Bridgers’ “Would You Rather” from 2017’s Stranger In The Alps was awesome. At the time we called it “a self-contained short story” in the guise of “a simple, pretty, acoustic duet.”

This new one’s more rockin’ and it suits them both. Their voices blend remarkably well. It’s funny that Oberst is as good of a harmonizer as he is, considering the fact that he doesn’t have what anybody would consider a traditionally “strong” voice. But hey, that’s rock and roll. One half science, the other half soul.

* * *

In other news, Bridgers was a named source in a recent high-profile article about a notoriously creepy douchebag who promised young women help with their music careers only to perv out on them and then get emotionally abusive after they got away. Bridgers wrote a great song about her ordeal (“I hate you for what you did… I faked it every time but that’s alright… Why do you sing with an English accent?”).

Others, unfortunately, stopped making music altogether.

Better Oblivion Community Center: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Phoebe Bridgers video: Killer

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “Killer”

Phoebe Bridgers - Killer

Directed by Gus Black. From Stranger In The Alps, out now on Dead Oceans.

We kicked off this year with a Phoebe Bridgers video and now we’re pretty much closing it out with one. And what’s a better topic for the day after Christmas than creating an Advance Health Care Directive for your loved ones to carry out when you’re too ill to make decisions for yourself?

But when I’m sick and tired
When my mind is barely there
When a machine keeps me alive
And I’m losing all my hair
I hope you kiss my rotten head
And pull the plug
Know that I’ve burned every playlist
And given all my love

Right on.

This song was originally recorded acoustically in 2015 with Ryan Adams and released as a 7″ on his Pax Am label.

Bridgers told the Telegraph 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” in response (“I hate you for what you did… I faked it every time… why do you sing with an English accent… you were in a band when I was born”). Ouch.

The version of “Killer” on Stranger In The Alps is piano-based and features harmonies from John Doe of X.

And Ryan Adams is a creep.

Phoebe Bridgers: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Audio: Phoebe Bridgers – “Killer” (2015 version)

From the single (Pax Am, 2015).

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “Motion Sickness”

Phoebe Bridgers - Motion Sickness (Official Video)

Directed by Justin Mitchell. From Stranger In The Alps, out now on Dead Oceans.

New Phoebe Bridgers video: Would You Rather ft. Conor Oberst

Video: Phoebe Bridgers – “Would You Rather” (ft. Conor Oberst)

Phoebe Bridgers - Would You Rather (Official Video)

From Stranger In The Alps, out now on Dead Oceans.

Playing “would you rather”
When it comes to fire
You always say that you’d prefer to drown

You were still in the ambulance
When the cop suggested
You’re the one who tried to burn it down

Whoa! That’s a self-contained short story right there.

It might sound like just a simple, pretty, acoustic duet there’s a lot going on in here.

Bridgers told The Fader that she wrote the song about her brother Jackson, who directed the video and said:

“I wanted to represent the almost telepathic bond between siblings that Phoebe and Conor sing about with televisions because sitting in front of the TV was one of the main places we bonded as kids, second only to long road trips. This song beautifully shows that knowing someone means knowing all of their darkest and most gruesome childhood fears and nightmares, but friendship and time can turn those negative emotions into something useful. As we get older and grow as artists, I’m glad this friendship can manifest itself in new ways, even as the nightmares and fantasies of our childhood fade away.”

Phoebe Bridgers: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.