The fast-rising PHOEBE BRIDGERS’ second album, PUNISHER, is atmospheric indie-rock with an undercurrent of anxiety. It’s in-stock now at HORIZON and at our webstore!


PHOEBE BRIDGERS
has previously said that Joan Didion – the acclaimed author who skewers a particularly chaotic strain of boredom sun-stained by California glare – was on her mind as she wrote PUNISHER, the follow-up to her buzz-heavy debut Stranger In The Alps. And like Didion, Bridgers captures the everyday figments of life with a bleak smirk. “I hate living by the hospital / The sirens go all night,” she sings on the gentle ‘Halloween’, and what seems like a mundane complaint quickly swerves to address the inevitability of death. “I used to joke that if they woke you up,” she sings, “somebody better be dying.” 

This same dryness permeates the entire record, to gripping effect. On ‘Garden Song’ she dreams of overseeing a well-tended garden in the distant and abstract years lying ahead, and a routine trip to the GP takes a surreal, psychoanalytic twist. “The doctor put her hands over my liver,” Bridgers sings, “she told me my resentment’s getting smaller.”

And her painstaking imagery sits atop a varied and rich palette, with familiar collaborators contributing along the way. Bridgers’ Better Oblivion Community Center bandmate Conor Oberst, and her boygenius collaborators Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker feature on ‘Punisher’, as well as Warpaint’s Jenny Lee Lindberg, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bright Eyes’ Nathaniel Walcott and revered session drummer Jim Keltner. Far from glitzy guest spots, their contributions are modest and woven into the tapestry of the record.

Bridgers has previously stated that ‘Punisher’ explores “crying” and numbness – which is certainly true – but what it most successfully captures is stasis, and an undercurrent of anxiety around what lies in the future. The LA songwriter’s ability to paint this lingering feeling of dread so vividly is perhaps the biggest factor in her rapid rise to cultish indie household name; just look at the state of the world right now.

PUNISHER and STRANGER IN THE ALPS are both in-stock now at HORIZON on vinyl LP & CD. Drop by or pick it up HERE at our webstore!

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