Music Lists

The Best Folk Albums to Help You Wallow in Sadness

Sometimes you just gotta spend the day deep in your feelings

Ethan Gruska "Enough For Now (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) " [Official Music Video]

The cycle of bad news remains endless, and the world feels relentlessly in free fall.

Dread and anxiety remain our closest acquaintances, and I can't remember the last time I drank for any reason other than "It's Tuesday." Lethargic, isolated, and unable to turn on our AC units without a minor surge of panic, it remains impossible not to wallow in what has become our fraught existence.

"I thought about my life and all its empty meaning," Nadia Reid softly sings over the strum of an electric guitar as her band swells up behind her. "There ain't nothing I can change about me now," Leif Vollebekk morbidly croons on "Apalachee Plain." "No, there ain't nothing I can change about me now."

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Will Pop Music Get Happier in 2020?

How did we get from Lorde's dystopia to Lizzo's exultation?

Lizzo at the 63rd Grammys

Photo by Jordan Strauss-AP-Shutterstock

"In the current pop firmament, Lorde is a black hole," goes the opening line of Pitchfork's review of Pure Heroine, the debut album from a then-16-year-old kiwi named Ella Yelich-O'Connor.

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Phoebe Bridgers Debuts New Song “Halloween” and More, Discusses New Album

Another new song, "Kyoto," is all about astrology, chemtrails, and sadness, and we'd expect nothing less.

Phoebe Bridgers

Photo by RMV/Shutterstock

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.

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)