Another new song, "Kyoto," is all about astrology, chemtrails, and sadness, and we'd expect nothing less.
Phoebe Bridgers, the astrology-loving wunderkind who solidified her place in indie folk royalty with 2017's Stranger In the Alps, is officially at work on her second album.
"The production is totally different to my first record. People still kind of think of me as like a folk artist, but on the first record, I truly was deferring to other people to produce me," she said. "I basically had these country folk songs. [On the new record] I do a little bit of screaming on what we've recorded so far."
Bridgers has had a busy few years. After a stint opening for Julien Baker, she joined the supergroup Boygenius (with Baker and fellow indie rocker Lucy Dacus), and the trio released an EP. Then she formed a duo with Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst called Better Oblivion Community Center, and the two released their debut last year.
She's been pretty quiet about her solo work, but this week she debuted a total of four new songs at various performances. These songs are called "Halloween," "Kyoto," "Garden Song," and "Graceland Too," as far as we know. Bridgers is an incredibly talented lyricist, and these songs show her interweaving modern themes like conspiracy theories and astrology with characteristically devastating refrains.
Phoebe Bridgers - Halloween (Live Debut)  www.youtube.com
While we don't have a date for the next album, judging by these songs, it'll be worth the wait.
boygenius - "Salt In The Wound" (Live at WFUV) www.youtube.com
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Production on the end of the world has been a mess since day one
With June of 2020 nearly here and no sign of the final cataclysm we've been promised, it's beginning to seem like The End Times will forever be near, without ever being upon us.
While the early phases of civilization's collapse into a burning hellscape were promising, progress on the more dramatic culmination of armageddon has been repeatedly stalled by restructuring, miscommunication, and the high rate of turnover within the ranks of the Great Old Ones' loyal subjects.
"The slow burn is great and all," said John Knӕlgghyrt, née Phillips, who was briefly the high priest of Cthulhu's Dark Order—prior to being scooped unceremoniously into his lord's tentacled maw—"but trying to get the big stuff done has been a real challenge." The main struggle he points to is the lack of cohesion and structural order among the death cult working haplessly to hasten Earth's return to a state of desolation and chaos. "It's like herding cats sometimes. Insane, death-obsessed cats."
The singer's debut EP introduces her confidence, vocal control, and musical diversity to country rock music.
Abby Anderson is one of CMT's Next Women of Country 2018.
The Dallas native has been making waves in Nashville and washing over the country music industry. Her vocals have been praised for maturity beyond her years, and her command of the genre is taking country rock to new heights. Backed by a stellar band and a talented songwriting team, her debut EP I'm Good dropped last month and showcases the newcomer's impressive talents.
"I'm Good" begins with a solid guitar riff before settling in to a standard reggae-ish rhythm. The bridge slides the song along its rails towards the chorus The guitar riffs fold in, and Anderson proclaims, "I'm good" in a declaration of self-assurance as well as her pure talent. A country rock version of Alanis Morissette, she has a cool confidence as her vocals rock out over the impressive band behind her.
As we start "Make Him Wait," the tone is immediately softer and more intimate. A four chord piano progression leads lyrics that urge, "A boy's gonna run, but a real man's gonna stay / Girl, make him wait." Instrumentally and vocally, the song is good, but the well-intended message comes off a little stale and doesn't necessarily catch the listener the same way that "I'm Good" instantly endears itself.
"Dance Away My Broken Heart" almost has a Nouvelle Vague feel to its intro. Once the rhythm kicks in, the song enters Taylor Swift territory. The breezy clap rhythm feels reminiscent of "Shake it Off," but it's the song's hook that's the showpiece. She sings the track's title with real emotion behind its message, accompanied by some sexy sax that grabs and keeps your attention. The piece takes pain and turns it into pleasure.
Anderson reflects on her sound: "When I was little I really didn't think I'd be making music quite like this. I'm not sure what I thought my sound would be like but I'm sure happy with where it landed. All I want to do is make music that takes people's cares away. Music they can jam to and have a good time. And I'd like to think that's what this little debut EP of mine does."
Indeed, Anderson gives us a strong debut, with catchy hooks and a vocal performance to envy, even by people with decades of experience in this competitive industry. The singer certifies her ability to thrive in classic country rock.
Follow Abby Anderson Online!
Thomas Burns Scully is a Popdust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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