With no gimmicks or unnecessary fanfare, the latest song from 22-year-old Phoebe Bridgers has all the traces of a special songwriter. She’s been on the radar since 2015 7” single ‘Killer’, which came out via Ryan Adams’ PAX AM label. But ‘Motion Sickness’ is the latest track from her newly-announced album ‘Stranger in the Alps’, which looks like being one of the year’s low-key breakthroughs.
Musicians writing heartbroken songs underlaid with muted guitars come half a penny these days, but Bridgers knows how to stand out. Every lyric on ‘Motion Sickness’ seems to carry its own story, and each is delivered with precision – no waffling or ambiguity to be found here. When she sings about how “I hate you for what you did / and I miss you like a little kid,” she really means it. And when she claims, “There are no words in the English language / I could sing to drown you out,” her understated sound begins to unravel. There are fireworks packed under this cool exterior. Watch a video for the new song below, directed by her brother, Jackson Bridgers.
About the ten songs on her debut album, Bridgers says: “I wasn’t trying to be too lo-fi, too hi-fi, too self-serious, too disingenuous… I feel pretty confident that I’m finding my voice.”
Keep an eye out of ‘Stranger in the Alps’, due September 22 via Dead Oceans. Pre-order here. She tours the US with Cat Power and Conor Oberst this summer.