Phoebe Bridgers is talent incarnate. Let's just get that out there.
Some of you may not agree with her politics, but what's new? If you take Phoebe Bridgers' latest album, Punisher, on its own merits, it's a masterpiece. There are some mild flowerbed warnings and some very deep - and sometimes dark - moments. But the refreshing thing about Phoebe's music is that it addresses real issues in a way that seems completely transparent and authentic. I like all types of music...music that makes me feel good, music that makes me want to dance, music that makes me contemplative, and music that makes me think about really difficult things in life in a critical way. This album has a little bit of all of it (well, maybe not the dancing), and delivers it in a package that is so sonically interesting that you just have to keep going back for more.
The album's lead single, "Kyoto", is about as mainstream is you're going to get from Phoebe. It's more of an "indie alt pop" song, but it's good nonetheless. My favorite tracks are...well...all of them. Even the moments on the album that seem critical of conservatism or Christianity, are addressed in ways that make it seem like the author is searching for answers, not lashing out with angst.
The song I've decided to share is called "I Know the End," and it's about the apocalypse. Yes, the very apocalypse we are all living through right now with a country that is seemingly evaporating before our eyes. I don't know if Phoebe was even being hyperbolic with her lyrics...this song addresses the changes to our world that are happening at such an alarming pace that we can't help but wonder...is the end already here? The lyric that captures this sentiment the best also happens to be one of the high points of the song itself:
No, I'm not afraid to disappear
The billboard said, "The end is near"
I turned around, there was nothing there
Yea, I guess, the end is here
As the song starts, it's quite melancholy and reserved. But man, when the bridge hits around the 2:20 mark, you're in for a ride. Next time you're in the car, pump this part of the song up to max and see if you can stop yourself from singing along. It's a mind-bendingly epic build that laments the state of our country, embraces the open road ahead, and questions our very purpose and place in the universe. And it all culminates in one of the best post-grunge breakdowns I've heard since the days of Rage Against the Machine.
One word of advice, I'd encourage you to listen to the song on its own and not watch the music video, which is a bit edgy for this audience, haha. But again, on its own merits, this song by itself is a masterpiece and a perfect cap to an album that was nominated for a Grammy for the right reasons...something that's very rare these days. Take a listen, let me know what you think! The song by itself is linked below, with none of the music video contamination to distract from its epicness:
The song mentioned in this article, and all entries into my Song of the Moment series, can be found as a public playlist on Spotify. Check it out!