Phoebe Bridgers says she’s trying to write happier songs: “It’s a challenge to myself”

"I think it’s more challenging to sound smart and write well about happiness than it is about sadness."

Phoebe Bridgers has spoken about her recent track ‘Sidelines’, a contribution to the soundtrack of Conversations With Friends, the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel of the same name.

The song is notably more optimistic than Bridgers’ last album ‘Punisher’, which she told Variety is the result of a shift in focus.

“I’m striving to do more stuff like that. I think it’s more challenging to sound smart and write well about happiness than it is about sadness. In the interest of not seeming trite, I lean toward darker subject matter, just out of comfort. And I think a challenge to myself, now, is being articulate about things that are good.”


Of her production choices, she said: “I wanted it to be hi-fi in some ways, and beautiful and cinematic, and lo-fi in other ways, and it was really hard to find that balance.

Bridgers also spoke about her love of Rooney’s books. “I think Sally’s writing is so beautiful and perfect, and Normal People affected me deeply, too, in totally different ways.”

She also said that she feels a particular affinity Conversations With Friends protagonist Frances Flynn, played by Alison Oliver in the BBC and Hulu adaptation. “I feel like I’m more similar to Frances than any character in pop culture, ever,” she said.

“Frances is so, so confident in her own art – she knows she’s great, and she thinks she’s the smartest person in the room – but she’s also so deeply, deeply self-conscious. And that balance in a person was super jarring to read for the first time.”

Bridgers released an official video for ‘Sidelines’ last week (June 1), featuring behind-the-scenes footage from her current ‘Reunion Tour’ shot by her brother Jackson.