19 January 2023
Phoebe Bridgers has been busy.
I can only assume that three separate music marketing teams independently came to the conclusion that the third Wednesday in January was the optimal time to announce a new album, because yesterday was slammed with new music. A new record by The National. A new record by Arlo Parks. And a new record by boygenius.
You would, of course, expect Bridgers to appear on that last one, as it’s an in-air-quotes supergroup of her, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. All stalwarts of the American indie scene—and all great—and now all, such are the whims of the music industry, signed to Interscope, home of Lady Gaga and Sting.
She also appears on The National album, which makes sense, alongside Sufjan Stevans, which also makes sense, and Taylor Swift. Her appearance does, also, make sense—in fact it would have been almost surprising for her to have not been on it, such is where we’re at in The National Extended Universe in 2023—but if you told me that ten years ago I wouldn’t have even thought you were joking, just very confused. Phoebe is on the album twice though, so her work-rate still comes out on top.
Finally, Phoebe also makes an appearance on the new Arlo Parks album. The three separate labels did at least have the communication skills to avoid Bridgers appearing on multiple different songs on the same day, so we’ll have to wait until later to find out her contributions, but—and I stress that music is not a competition, we are all winners—the Arlo track is clearly the best, at least on first listen.
If you only have the chance to listen to one of these, make it that one. And then proceed, like I have just done, to wonder just how Phoebe Bridgers handles time management.Listen ➔