2020 has already been a big year for Southern California musician Phoebe Bridgers and today she’s announced more plans for this strange year with a new album called Punisher. The record, her second, will be released on Dead Oceans on June 19. She’s also shared a new song and video for “Kyoto,” with its lilting chorus and rich instrumentation. The video itself is a lo-fi production, making the most of what’s available during quarantines and stay at home orders.
Bridgers appears in what is becoming a bit of a theme costume for her, a black skin-tight skeleton body-suit; she also appears in the outfit on the cover of Punisher. The clothing choice was also functional. Bridgers intended to shoot the video in Japan during March of this year while she was on tour. That trip was obviously scuttled due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing her to shoot the video in Los Angeles with a green screen. She strikes different poses as she glides above the Tokyo skyline, marvels at cherry blossom trees she can’t even see in real life, and stands listless in beautifully cloudy skies. It’s simple, yet effective and evocative of our current state of living.
The last few years must feel like a whirlwind for Bridgers. She went from releasing her debut album Stranger In The Alps in 2017 as a relatively unknown artist from Pasadena, slowly gaining accolades for her songwriting chops. Then she joined forces with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker as boygenius, releasing a critically acclaimed EP together, a record that came in at #22 on our best albums of 2018.
Last year, she made another powerful alliance in forming Better Oblivion Community Center with indie folk icon Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. Their album together, a self-titled 2019 LP also garnered praise from critics and fans. Earlier this year she shared a breathtakingly reminscent song “Garden Song.”
Punisher track list
1. DVD Menu
2. Garden Song
6. Chinese Satellite
7. Moon Song
8. Savior Complex
10. Graceland Too
11. I Know The End