Mutual admiration can be awkward to express, especially across a generation gap. Phoebe Bridgers grew up listening to Bright Eyes, and her delicate songs about the risks of intimacy reflect this influence. This shared aesthetic led to Oberst guesting on Bridgers’ 2017 debut, the first seeds of this full-length collaboration. There is some sonic similarity with Bridgers’ other recent collaboration, the folk-indie supergroup Boygenius (which features fellow contemporary guitar loyalists Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus), but Oberst’s eclecticism stops this from being a retread with new players. The influence of Digital Ash In A Digital Urn is heard in the throbbing synth lines of “Exception To The Rule”, and “Big Black Heart” features fierce pop-punk riffage and a vocals shredded to a sibilant howl. Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs shreds on two cuts, and a solid rhythm section gives a punchy backdrop to the acoustic instrumentation, a widescreen canvas for this pair of unlikely rock stars.
- black vinyl pressing
- printed inner sleeve
- digital download included
- music label: Dead Oceans 2019
reviewed by Two Bridgers 04/2019