Phoebe Bridgers

Don't let the somber tone of her music fool you: the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has a sunny disposition.

"I'd hate for someone to think I'm sipping an espresso somewhere judging people or feeling sorry for myself. OK, I definitely do that once in a while, but I don't consider myself an intense person."

Bridgers grew up in the rose-colored city of Pasadena, attending the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts to study music. From an early age, she found encouragement from a close-knit artistic community of friends and family to follow her dreams, and at school she forged relationships that would teach her as much about her craft as her classes.

"I think most of my musical education had to do with being around a ton of teenagers who listened to music all the time," she says. "At school I had classical training for my voice, but I think being surrounded by people who were really enthusiastic about art and going to concerts all the time was the real education."

"I met Carla Azar of Autolux - and she showed me Elliott Smith for the first time, which was my first personal connection to music that one of my parents hadn't showed me," she says. "It seemed so different from anything I'd listened to before. It is so personal, so intense." Bridgers' work would be heavily influenced by Smith's sparse lyrics and subdued emotional style, in addition to that of her other favored singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen.

"Los Angeles is interwoven into my music inherently," she says. "I don't necessarily try to reference it, but because I'm pulling from experience it just appears. A lot of shit goes down wherever you may grow up." After graduating from high school, Bridgers spent a year gigging around the city, playing as often as she could, making mistakes and learning while on her feet. "I've always been very appreciative of the LA thing," she says.

But of course the truth is that the unique ingredient at play, the calling card that has drawn all this interest and intrigue, is simply Bridgers' music itself. Her powerful, lilting voice and her haunting, introspective songs light the torch that shows the way, and are what have inspired artists like Ryan Adams to produce her 2015 single, or Julien Baker to bring her on tour in 2016, as well as John Doe and Conor Oberst to sing with her on her debut album. There is a delicate balance to her work, a dance between veiled narratives and earnest emotions, between whispers and shouts. And according to Bridgers, everything you hear has arrived by feeling; her music is what comes when she is at her most honest, without specific intention, and she aims to be in her songs the person she is in the world.

Stranger in the Alps opens with the one-two punch of "Smoke Signals" and "Motion Sickness," a pair of songs that highlight Bridgers' abilities. The former, a gorgeous, ethereal tune guided by sparse electric guitar and sweeping strings, toes the line between weary and wistful, using specific anecdotes from its singer to tell its tale. The style highlights the strengths of Bridgers' unique lyric writing perspective: there are overt references to lost idols, canonical pop songs and actual incidents, but her stories unfold through specific, evocative imagery sung in her subtle, confessional style. The latter is perhaps the most upbeat moment on the album and was written on her baritone guitar and discusses a problematic relationship from her past. "I feel like I'm getting more focused when I write," she says. "My songs are super personal."

"Scott Street" is a song inspired by East Los Angeles where Bridgers now lives. "Killer" is a song originally appearing on her Adams-produced single but is re-recorded here by the album's producer, Tony Berg, with John Doe singing alongside Bridgers. That song in particular inspired her to be more honest in her approach. "I wanted to be more genuine with my lyrics, and to me that meant being self-deprecating or a little more self-aware, and not using words that just sounded pretty," she says. "I had an epiphany that I can be honest with myself and with other people when I'm writing."

Elsewhere, Conor Oberst joins her for the duet "Would You Rather," a singer chosen for his unmistakable voice. A Mark Kozelek cover, "You Missed My Heart," ends the album. As with any singer's debut, the songs here comprise a wide swath of Bridgers' life, dating from the oldest, "Georgia," which she calls the most different-sounding on the LP, to the opening pair, which were written after the recording process had already begun. Berg and co-producer Ethan Gruska worked with Bridgers to record in on-and-off stretches in between tours over 2016 at Berg's studio in Brentwood. Phoebe went into the studio with the majority of the material written, however "Smoke Signals" and "Motion Sickness" were written in a cabin in Idaho, while Bridgers was waiting for a tour to begin. The pair were the last songs written for the LP.

"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," she says. "I wanted the album to completely represent who I am and these songs are representative of what I set out to do."

Phoebe Bridgers Signs To Dead Oceans; Debut Album Coming Soon

“2017’s Best New Artist Might Just Be Phoebe Bridgers” – NPR MUSIC

We’re incredibly pleased to welcome Phoebe Bridgers to the Dead Oceans family. The debut album by the Los Angeles-based songwriter will be released later this year.

The 22 year-old Bridgers’ released her recent single, “Smoke Signals” – a breathtaking track that manages effortlessly to be a wounded love song as well as a five-and-a-half minute kiss-off to a generally cataclysmic 2016 – in early January, and in turn drew high praise from outlets including NPR Music, Billboard, NYLON, Stereogum, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. A video of her performing a stripped-down version of the song, filmed in Austin, TX, during SXSW for NPR Music’s ‘South X Lullaby’ series, can also be seen here: https://n.pr/2mTH4pR. Writing songs since age 11, Bridgers spent her teenage years performing at open mic nights and busking throughout her hometown before recording a debut three-song single, “Killer,” with Ryan Adams in his L.A. studio. “Killer” was released on Adams’ Pax-Am label in spring of 2015.

Listen to/purchase “Smoke Signals”: https://phoebebridgers.lnk.to/smokesignals

Bridgers has spent much of the past 12 months on the road with artists including Ryan Adams, Julien Baker, and Conor Oberst, with whom she’ll tour again in North America this September. The tour will begin on September 1st in Bellingham, WA and run throughout the northern U.S. and into Canada before wrapping up on the 17th in Bloomington, IL. First, she will head overseas for a June 28th show supporting Whitney in Paris, FR, as well as two headlining shows of her own on July 4th in Amsterdam, NL and July 5th in London, UK. A current itinerary is below.

More news on Bridgers’ debut album will be announced soon.

Phoebe Bridgers tour dates:

June 28 Paris, FR @ Cafe de la Danse*
July 4 Amsterdam, NL @ Theatre De Roode bioscoop
July 5 London, UK @ St. Pancras Old Church
Sept. 1 Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo**
Sept. 3 Portland, OR @ Oregon Zoo Aphitheatre
Sept. 5 Billings, MT @ Pub Station Ballroom**
Sept. 7 St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre**
Sept. 8 Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre**
Sept. 9 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre**
Sept. 10 Kalamazoo, MI @ State Theatre**
Sept. 12 Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre**
Sept. 13 Toronto, ONT @ Danforth Music Hall**
Sept. 14 Buffalo, NY @ Asbury Hall at Babeville**
Sept. 15 Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall**
Sept. 16 Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre**
Sept. 17 Bloomington, IL @ Castle Theatre**
* supporting Whitney
** supporting Conor Oberst

Follow Phoebe:
www.phoebefuckingbridgers.com
www.facebook.com/phoebebridgers
www.twitter.com/phoebe_bridgers

tour dates

10/19/17

Glasgow, UK - Broadcast

10/20/17

London, UK - Kamio

10/23/17

Köln, DE - Blue Shell   w/ Japanese Breakfast

10/24/17

Hamburg, DE - Häkken   w/ Japanese Breakfast

10/25/17

Endhoven, NL - Broadcast

10/27/17

Brighton, UK - Unitarian Church

10/27/17

Birghton, UK - Unitarian Church
See all upcoming shows »

video

Motion Sickness
by Phoebe Bridgers