Album Name: Punisher
Band: Phoebe Bridgers
Release Date: June 18, 2020
Before you get to reading, why not click on one of these links and start listening? We recommend it. Reading along while the music plays offers a much more immersive experience.
Phoebe Bridger’s trademark look nowadays is a skeleton pattern bodysuit that goes up to her neck, while her pale blonde head sits atop innocently with no loud makeup, hairdo or headpiece. She’s photographed like this at a distance on the cover of ‘Punisher’ as she stares up at the night sky illuminated by a neon red light. I am in love with this album cover. Her stance is cartoonish and tight-armed, with her head craned back like a Peanuts character. This Halloween week, take a listen to this wispy-voiced skeleton who is haunting her way into the hearts of many in this strange detached world of ours.
Atmospheric and glimmering, the production on ‘Punisher’ is soft-focused to allow space for Bridger’s poeticism that has been praised by critics across the board. Her words are candidly gloomy but a lightness still shines through. Her angelic voice sort of disarms you so you don’t even realize that she’s singing about murder and ghosts and vampires.
Those are lyrics from the tune “Halloween.” She continues through the album to maintain this cleverness, which will distract you from getting devastated because it’s kind of funny. There are so many more examples of this and I’m doing my best to not type out every single lyric straight from the liner notes.
‘Punisher’ is Phoebe Bridgers’ second-ever album, but her sound and ideas are so fleshed out you’d think she was in the twilight of her career. It’s exciting to see what she’s going to do in the coming years. At 25, she’s already collaborated with some of the best sad rockers in the biz. She’s in two other groups. There’s Better Oblivion Community Centre with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and she’s also got Boygenius with fellow guitar-strumming chanteuses Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. And she’s got multiple song collabs with The National’s Matt Berninger.
So hey, I’m recommending Phoebe Bridgers, but with her comes a whole slew of groups. This week’s recommendations come in bulk like candy on sale after the store realizes no one is trick or treating this year. Enjoy!