Favorite Track: Garden Song Least Favorite Track: N/A
Until June 18th, when Phoebe Bridgers’ newest full length record came out, I had never listened to a record on it’s release day and thought that it was truly one of a kind. Punisher is forty minutes of the most stunningly gorgeous instrumentals I have ever heard, backed by some relentlessly truthful and poignantly funny lyrics from Bridgers’ and her breathtaking voice. The record starts with a small instrumental that sets the tone for the rest of the album very well, before immediately plunging into possibly my favorite track on the album, “Garden Song”. It is incredibly hard to articulate how beautiful this song is, and that remains true for the rest of the album. Phoebe’s ability to write songs that sound sad but hopeful is unparalleled, and the fact that a lot of the songs on this record give writing credits to Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame is no surprise. The track “Kyoto” is a bit more uptempo, with some horn lines and a fun instrumental, but when you look into the lyrics a bit more, it is a crushingly sad song about Bridgers’ resentment for her father. Another song that strikes me as being one of the best on the record is the tear-inducing “Savior Complex”. This track is all about the lyrics, with Phoebe detailing the hardships of being in a relationship for someone who harbors self-hatred. It is tough to listen to and face the reality of, and after listening a multitude of times, it still gives me chills. Another huge highlight of the record is the closing track, “I Know The End”, which has one of the most explosive and sonically crushing resolutions I have ever heard. Phoebe proves on this record that she is a master at creating songs that don’t just feel like songs, but a light at the end of a pitch-dark tunnel, or an end to a crushingly deep depression. Punisher feels like resolution to the deepest hurt, and it is truly stunning. I have never heard an album that has struck me in the same way this record has, with every single track having a different emotion to offer. In conclusion; please, please listen to this record.