Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Copycat Killer’ EP review

Photo credit: Olof Grind

Phoebe Bridgers releases an EP featuring stripped-back, orchestral reworks of four of the songs on her album of the year contender, ‘Punisher’. These new versions have all been recorded with GRAMMY Award-winning arranger and string player Rob Moose.

‘Kyoto’ is one of the defining songs of 2020 and here’s it’s slowed down to just Phoebe’s voice and the grandiose strings. You can hear elements of some of Rob’s previous collaborations here (Regina Spektor, Jose Gonzalez… even The Killers) and it feels like he’s sprinkled some sadness-filled fairy dust all over the place. This is followed by ‘Savior Complex’, a song that is transformed into something akin to a film noir soundtrack with an otherworldly vibe. Phoebe sings about ’emotional despair’ and how you’re ‘sweating through the sheets, you’re gonna drown for sure’ over Owen Pallett-esque arrangements.

‘Chinese Satellite’ has a stirring orchestral feel the moment Phoebe declares ‘I want to believe’, but the sadness is still there as the sparse arrangements offer extra emphasis on the way she’s been running around in circles as she tries to find her place in the world. ‘Punisher’ closes the EP with even more focus on the words before moving into the kind of area that’s served The National so well on their last few albums: ‘Either I’m careless or I wanna get caught?’

‘Copycat Killer’ is a collection of sadpop songs that have just become even more emotional thanks to some perfectly pitched arrangements.


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