Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher (2020)

Luke Atkins

Candid, concise, and dynamic, Phoebe Bridgers’s Punisher is a magical work. It’s been a joy to see her evolve. She’s always been a brilliant lyricist with a beautiful voice. But her music itself is a progression in this work from that of her debut LP. Punisher feels like a blend of Sufjan Stevens, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Frank Ocean, and Elliott Smith. Clocking in at 40 minutes long, it is intimate. It is cathartic. She sounds less like a young, energetic, rebellious artist now and more like an older, wiser one who’s been through a lot. Likewise, her music is more textured. After hearing Boygenius, I thought she’d stick with an organic, guitar-heavy sound. But Punisher is ethereal and dreamlike. It is so sonically multi-faceted at times. At other times, it is chill and minimalistic. It is full of surprises. And its flow is such that you can listen…

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