Daily Distraction: Read Amanda Petrusich on Phoebe Bridgers

Joel Oliphint
The New Yorker's forthcoming issue features a profile of Phoebe Bridgers by Amanda Petrusich, available online now.

Today's Daily Distraction combines two of my favorite things: the music of Phoebe Bridgers and the writing of Amanda Petrusich. 

Bridgers, one of the best songwriters working today, is (finally) about to release Punisher, a follow-up to her near-perfect 2017 debut album, Stranger in the Alps. And in the leadup to the June release, Bridgers sat down with The New Yorker's Amanda Petrusich — partly before the pandemic took hold in the states, and partly after via FaceTime. In that way, it's also a master class on how to write a profile during a pandemic. Petrusich even had Bridgers give her a tour of her apartment and her Los Angeles neighborhood with phone in hand, and it totally worked.

This simple paragraph is just one example of Petrusich's accessibly incisive prose, and Bridgers' gallows humor:

Bridgers, like many young people, feels as if she is expected to behave normally—to plan for a future, to nurture relationships—as the world around her atomizes. The absurdity of the situation requires a certain amount of disengagement. “If I woke up every morning and thought about the reality of everything, it would totally consume me,” she said. “I have to think about it as if it’s happening in a movie.”

Anyway, go read it, then listen to Bridgers' music while you read more of Petrusich's writing.