Singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has earned a strong following since releasing her debut solo album, Stranger in the Alps, in 2017.
Today, June 18, Bridgers released its follow-up, Punisher, and her audience is poised to grow exponentially as a result of this record. It’s her second official solo album, but the fourth album she’s released since 2017, including her projects with Conor Oberst (Better Oblivion Community Center) and Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus (Boygenius).
.@Phoebe_Bridgers' new album Punisher is available now — one day early.
A simply stunning affair, the album will definitely be on many folks' end-of-year lists. Review/stream at the link. https://t.co/uPZohFbOsE
— Rock Cellar Magazine (@RockCellarMag) June 18, 2020
That Punisher is being released right now — in a time of significant social unrest and a global pandemic that has ravaged all areas of “normal life,” with the prospect of things returning to what they were a wistful dream — almost seems appropriate, given the record’s themes of unease and vulnerability.
Much of Phoebe Bridgers’ music comes from a perspective of somebody reacting to the world around them, a world in which they exist, perhaps uncomfortably, experiencing a ton of conflicting emotions about the whole thing.
Pals Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, Bridgers’ colleagues in Boygenius, stop by for the tender country/folk of “Graceland Too,” another highlight of the record.
The album closes with “I Know the End,” a rousing, shape-shifting finale that features Oberst, Dacus, Baker, Blake Mills, Christian Lee Hutson, Nick Zinner and Bright Eyes’ Nathaniel Walcott on horns, a venerable indie all-star jam session that wraps things up with a bang, a group refrain of “The end is near” cascading about with the orchestral flourish of a whimsical Sufjan Stevens outro.
The end result is an incredible achievement, sure to be one of the strongest albums in the indie/rock world this year. Stream Punisher below, via Spotify: