‘Punisher’ is the second album from LA-based Phoebe Bridgers and expands on the blunt honesty that was pervasive on her brooding debut, ‘Stranger In The Alps’. The artist draws up candid tales of painful regret, incisive folk songs about depression and self-destruction, and coarse love songs, peppered by overtones of calamity.
Lyrically, ‘Garden Song’ builds on the melancholic themes that have defined Bridgers, who despite her sonic infancy, is challenging the criterion of modern songwriting in a revered fashion.
The lyrical savagery on ‘Kyoto’ is gripping and ‘ICU’ showcases a pertinent vulnerability in Bridgers that flows through the entire record. ‘Graceland Too’ is our shoulder to lean on, and nods to the more familiar acoustic tones of ‘Stranger In The Alps’ while the emotional catharsis on ‘I Know the End’ provides a fitting culmination to this masterstroke.
Phoebe Bridgers has claimed the pole position in a new wave of songwriters producing sombre music for a lost generation, and, on what is her most compelling body of work to date, her standing is unequivocal.