3rd March | Rough Trade
Maybe it’s something in the water, but Dead Oceans seem to be absolutely killing it lately. The U.S. record label was responsible for two of last year’s very finest albums from Japanese Breakfast and Slowdive, and could boast the same in 2016 when they put out exceptional records from Mitski and Julianna Barwick. Am I missing anyone? Ah, yes – LA artist Phoebe Bridgers, whose debut Strangers in the Alps caused a ripple of its own when it came out in September last year. You might know her as the voice of that Pixies cover of ‘Gigantic’ that Apple used on an iPhone advert in 2014, but if that’s your only exposure to Bridgers to date, you’re missing a trick.
For one thing, she’s already got a slew of famous fans – Ryan Adams, Julien Baker (with whom she toured in 2016) and Conor Oberst have all talked her up at one point or another, and Oberst even sang on one of her album tracks. Tracks like ‘Motion Sickness’ and ‘Smoke Signals’ share the Bright Eyes singer’s bittersweet and personal approach to storytelling, though Bridgers’ tracks are much less rough around the edges, searching earnestly for hope even when she’s being vitriolic. She’s been bringing out guests in her live shows, and while we doubt the guy whose lyrics you scrawled across LiveJournal as a teenager will be there, it’s going to be one hell of a show regardless: Phoebe Bridgers is a phenomenon unto herself.
You can see the video to ‘Would You Rather’ here: