Jensen McRae shares full version of Phoebe Bridgers’ “2023 album opener”

"Once the pandemic 'ends', we’re all gonna have to find something new to talk about to each other," she tells NME of 'Immune'

Rising US singer-songwriter Jensen McRae has shared the full version of her viral ‘cover’ of what she imagines the opener of Phoebe Bridgers‘ next album will sound like.

McRae shared the affectionate parody of Bridgers’ style on Twitter last week, joking that “in 2023 Phoebe Bridgers is gonna drop her third album & the opening track will be about hooking up in the car while waiting in line to get vaccinated at dodger stadium and it’s gonna make me cry.”

The song opens with the lines: “Traffic from the East Side’s got me aggravated / Hotter than the day my brother graduated / Wait four hours in the sun / In line at Dodger Stadium / I’m not scared of dogs or getting vaccinated”. Bridgers then shared the clip with the simple caption “oh my god”, before fans re-tweeted and noted that it “sounds more like Phoebe Bridgers than Phoebe Bridgers”.

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After that, McRae headed into the studio with executive producer Rahki (Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, EarthGang, Sampa The Great) and wrote and recorded a full version of ‘Immune’, which is out now.

“The way this pandemic has upended our lives has meant that pretty much no artist can escape writing about it,” McRae told NME of her inspiration behind the track. “I imagined the fictional story of two friends whose dynamic has taken on a possibly false new dimension as a result of the chaos of the world, and how that chaos and the friendship would put kind of a lot of pressure on the relationship to be somehow life-changing.

“It’s also about how once the pandemic ‘ends’ —whenever that is—we’re all gonna have to find something new to talk about to each other.”

Speaking of the world’s reaction to the song, McRae said: “I was honestly shocked. I wasn’t gonna tweet the initial joke. I thought it was only the type of thing me and my friends would find funny. But when I did, and when I posted the accompanying verses, and I saw how huge the response was, I realised how cathartic it is for people to listen to music that skewers and reflects this bizarre alternate reality back to them.

“Phoebe Bridgers is one of my favourite songwriters ever, and the music world is quite small so I imagine we’ll cross paths once physically crossing paths is a thing that can happen again.”

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McRae is set to release her debut album later in 2021, and has also partnered with YouTube through their Black Voices campaign to create visuals for new music.

This week also saw the release of ‘Ten Feet Tall’, the new single from Charlie Hickey featuring Phoebe Bridgers on guest vocals.

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