Recently, my friend Rachel opened the floodgate that is Pheobe Bridgers on me. BLESS.
I feel like it happens to all of us – getting stuck in musical slumps, sick of listening to the same songs but not pressing the nerve to expand our horizons.
Often I avoid sad songs when I’m all in my feelings. But sometimes they’re comforting depending on the situation. With Pheobe, my mindset has completely changed. Her lyrics spark a note in me, where it feels like a release when I listen to her during high or low days.
I think it’s her honesty. We are bombarded with messages of smiling people in advertisements, top 40 tunes telling us to get wasted and spend a bunch of money, or maybe just a society that avoids discussing depression and complicated thoughts.
The way she effortlessly combines sensitivity and strength in each of her songs inspires me to go deeper into the way I communicate my stories and feelings in art or writing.
She’s refreshing. She’s not afraid to feel sad and not scared to confront emotions that are otherwise uncomfortable. It may be a little too blue for some listeners – but she dives in with a full heart and can articulate experiences in a way that’s important in music.
I’m also obsessed with one of her recent collaboration with indie artists Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus (boygenuis). Her soft vocals mesh with Baker and Dacus’ strong, talented voices.
Pheobe recently covered The Cure’s Friday I’m In Love with Spotify Sessions. It’s was a great choice, her smooth and whispery vocals bringing the song to life again. The Cure is a band that often gets the sad songwriting rep and wrote this catchy/happy tune to challenge that. But there is an unignorable truth to the notoriously melancholy songwriters. It’s the ability to make us reference our pain and similar experiences in upfront and essential way.