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Phoebe Bridgers and Soccer Mommy (the project of songwriter Sophie Allison), are two of the most promising young songwriters that we have at the moment. This year saw the two come together for a tour in support of Bridgers terrific 2017 debut album Stranger in the Alps (released via Dead Oceans) as well as Soccer Mommy’s debut album Clean, which was just recently released via Fat Possum.

On February 22 they stopped in for the first of two sold out shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg for a great night of music that also served as a showcase for two of the brightest talents to emerge in the past couple of years, both whose paths are steadily moving forward during what is turning out to be a sort of golden age for female-led projects. With all that’s going on in the world, the timing couldn’t be any better.

Up first was Allison, whose personal songwriting talent works its magic on you rather instantly. Live, her songs are given a bit of added weight and punch thanks to her band. The emotion is still very much there, it’s all just adjusted in a way that strongly holds up in a live environment. Her set included a great solo cover of The Boss’ “I’m on Fire,” as well as a solo performance of her own track “Still Clean,” before the band rejoined her for a set-closing performance of “Scorpio Rising.” This was a brief set, but she will be back very soon headlining both Rough Trade NYC and Elsewhere (Zone One).

The mood was set for Bridgers performance with a darkened stage, illuminated mainly by the white Christmas lights that were tightly wrapped around her mic stand. She gently welcomed us to her set with a heartbreaking performance of “Smoke Signals,” which surely set the mood and tone for the rest of the evening. Only four songs in she dropped the first of many surprises of that evening, bringing out Conor Oberst to perform his vocal part on their debut “Would You Rather.”

Oberst would come back out towards the tail end of the set, along with all of Soccer Mommy, to help perform “Scott Street,” with some oversized black balloons that were thrown out to the crowd for good measure. After performing “You Missed My Heart” while sitting on the floor cross-legged during the encore, Bridgers welcomed both Oberst and Soccer Mommy back out to perform a pretty epic cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” that had all of the adoring crowd belting it back at them.

Bridgers music has a lot of heavy emotional weight to it, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how often she was able to break out and allow for more grand carefree moments that balanced it out in a celebratory fashion that was certainly most welcome.

Find photos and setlists for both Soccer Mommy and Phoebe Bridgers posted below.

Soccer Mommy:

Soccer Mommy Setlist:

1. Henry
2. Try
3. Last Girl
4. Your Dog
5. Cool
6. I’m on Fire (Bruce Springsteen Cover) (solo)
7. Still Clean (solo)
8. Scorpio Rising

Phoebe Bridgers:

Phoebe Bridgers:

1. Smoke Signals
2. Funeral
3. Georgia
4. Would You Rather (with Conor Oberst)
5. Chelsea
6. Demi Moore
7. Killer
8. Wasted
9. Steamroller (solo)
10. Motion Sickness
11. Scott Street (with Conor Oberst and Soccer Mommy)


12. You Missed My Heart (Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle cover)
13. If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow cover) (with Conor Oberst and Soccer Mommy)

We All Want Someone’s Best Songs Of 2017

By Will Oliver, January 12th 2018

[artwork by Anthony Bauer]

And the time has come for the one post that all my friends actually read on these here pages, my best (or favorite) songs of 2017. These are the songs that I obsessed over throughout all of last year and many are still getting heavy rotation into the new one.

You’ll find select highlights from many of the albums that appeared on my best albums list but also a few new acts who blossomed or select songs that stood out on albums that didn’t quite shine as bright. Either way, I hope that you find at least one new song or artist that you didn’t know beforehand and that they make your day that much brighter. Thanks again for sticking around with us for another year and here’s to a bigger and better year in 2018.

As usual, the list is posted in a countdown format from 100-1 and I have made a Spotify playlist which you can find here or embedded at the very end of the post. All the songs are in there except for Ty Segall’s “Orange Color Queen,” as the album is not on Spotify.

Without further ado, here are my favorite songs from 2017:
Read the rest of this entry »

We All Want Someone’s Best Albums Of 2017

By Will Oliver, January 9th 2018 — with 4 comments

[Artwork by Anthony Bauer]

Was 2017 a good year for music? Was it a bad year? Who knows, it seems like every year your social media pages are bombarded with think pieces about it being the best year of music ever, the worst year, the end of rock music, or the album as we know it. But every year I seem totally and utterly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of musical releases in a year. It’s one thing to keep up with the high volume of new releases that seem to come out at an increasing pace with every passing week. Before you know it, the year is over and you’re somehow trying to rank all the stuff that occupied your ears.

Whether it was alone in your room, on the subway, stuck in traffic on the highway, or at a party with friends, albums have the power to create literal soundtracks for our lives. While these rankings are where I am at during this particular moment in time if you checked back in with me in a couple of weeks who knows how it would change. But rankings aside, these are a bunch of albums that had some sort of effect on me throughout the year.

Using the word best is course objective, so if you will, these are my favorite albums of 2017: Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy Formidable at Le Poisson Rouge (March 1, 2017)

By Ross Bernhardt, March 16th 2017

Words and photos by Ross Bernhardt

The last time I covered The Joy Formidable for the site, on April 14th, 2016, the show was decidedly different from the one I witnessed on at Le Poisson Rouge on March 1. During that tour, they had alt-rockers Everything Everything opening and displayed their usual rock prowess at Irving Plaza. This tour went in a different, softer direction. Instead of the loud, winding jams most fans have come to know, the trio from Wales did an entirely acoustic tour.
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