Phoebe Bridgers - 'Punisher'

9/10

There hasn't been an artist so openly welcomed into the worldwide music fold as Phoebe Bridgers of late. Despite only releasing her incredible debut album 'Stranger In The Alps' in 2017, the frontwoman has found herself collaborating with a wide and diverse array of more established artists in the succeeding years, including The National's Matt Berninger, her collaborative project boygenius with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, and Better Oblivion Community Center, which she shares with Bright Eye's Conor Oberst. And it is clear that that mix of influences has made a strong impact on her highly-anticipated sophomore album 'Punisher', which looks to stand tall over everything she has created so far.

Much like her debut, 'Punisher' is intended to be a warm and heartfelt delve into her own personal world, examining feelings and emotions that have shaped her as a person over the last few years. But rather than create a completely insular release that relies heavily on her own passionate guise, we do get to see her break loose from time to time, giving this new full-length a far more diverse and exciting direction in places. Tracks like 'Kyoto' and 'ICU' aim to break up the sometimes heavy tones of this new collection, allowing her to not only venture into more adventurous territory, but gives the listener a jolt back into place in keeping the LP as engaging as possible.

In all, 'Punisher' looks set to become the new personal milestone for Bridgers' writing abilities since she began. Every track is filled with this rich and textured narrative that looks to flow effortlessly throughout any aesthetic or genre she explores in its production. She may have become the go-to artist for many in recent times, and it feels that that will now only accelerate in the years ahead.

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