Are All Of Phoebe Bridgers’ Songs Actually Devastatingly Sad?


Phoebe Bridgers has a knack for writing some truly depressing songs. Fortunately, they also tend to be extraordinarily well-crafted and meaningful. But that doesn’t stop people from considering her music to be predominately gloomy.

Spotify even ranks her songs by sadness, with “You Missed My Heart”, “Killer”, and “Funeral” at the very top. But Phoebe has also collaborated with Taylor Swift, something fans were excited about. And Taylor definitely has as many pump-up and inspirational jams as she does miserable ones. Still, the two friends managed to find a balance in their tones for Taylor’s album “Red”.


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But this hasn’t stopped Pheobe, who released her debut album “Stranger In The Alps” in 2017, from gravitating to music that people want to listen to on cold, rainy, November days. Even her more ‘hopeful’ songs are grounded in some truly depressing thoughts, some of which are quite dark. Here’s what Phoebe has said about why she makes this type of music and how she doesn’t want it to be ‘trendy’.

What Is The Meaning Of Phoebe Bridgers’ “Chinese Satellite”?

In an interview with Vulture, the journalist claimed that they were most attracted to her song “Chinese Satellite” due to it sounding hopeful. At least when compared to her other songs.

After sharing her happiness for the journalists gravitating toward that song, Phoebe explained what it’s really about…

“It’s about jogging. I don’t run, really, because I have bad knees, but this was about trying to run, and then the idea that you’re pretending to be a person and just how hard everyday sh** is. It goes back to my love of Harry Potter: it’s basically about the feeling of not getting a Hogwarts letter, where you’re waiting for someone to save you from the monotony of everyday life. I feel like some people think about that with antidepressants — ‘My life started when I started taking them’ or, ‘My life started when I started doing yoga.’ And I’m just waiting for my thing that makes every day different. And magic and aliens.”

So, it appears that even a song that feels more hopeful is grounded in some sort of sadness…

Hey, it works!

Does Phoebe Bridgers Think Her Music Is Depressing?

Phoebe Bridgers’ music is often considered “sad girl rock”, as pointed out in Vulture. When asked about this, Phoebe conceded that her music is, indeed, quite sad.

“It’s definitely sad music. But I think there’s just a fine line between [that and] a sad girl,” Phoebe explained.

“Sometimes people will come up to me and be like, ‘Oh, my God. I’m so f***ing depressed. Ha ha ha ha ha.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you okay?’ The conversations I want to have are like, ‘Can we all heal?’ But I’m also flattered because my favorite music is lumped into those genres, like Julien [Baker], Soccer Mommy, Bright Eyes, and Elliott Smith.”

Related: The Full Story Behind Phoebe Bridgers’ New Record Label, Saddest Factory Records

But Phoebe has an issue when her music is seen as a trendy vibe as opposed to addressing legitimate issues.

“It’s as if it’s a fashion statement and not literally a mental illness,” Phoebe explained. “But again, I know that we are all in the ‘scene,’ and I’m sure there are shoegaze bands that sing about dumb s*** that struggle with the same stuff. It’s just we talk about it more explicitly.”

Phoebe then admitted that she doesn’t think she and other artists in her genre are doing something particularly noble. Instead, it’s hopefully meaningful.

“I don’t think [what we’re doing] is saving the world or anything, but I’m always relieved when art is real and telling the truth. Things that mean a lot to me are perspectives I’ve never heard before, which inherently is whoever’s talking about their personal experience.”

The Meaning Of Phoebe Bridgers’ “Motion Sickness” Revealed Dark Truths

Among her darker songs is “Motions Sickness”. Years after its release, fans drew a connection between its lyrics and Phoebe’s allegations against her ex-boyfriend and former colleague, Ryan Adams. Because of this, Phoebe says the song has become a little bit more of a “F**** yeah, girl” applause song.

“It’s weird because I forget that people take it seriously now. I used to play it live and be like, ‘This song is about Ryan Adams. He hates women.’ And people thought it was funny. I thought it was a funny thing to say. So then, weirdly after the article came out, I was playing the same song, making the same ‘jokes’.”

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“I just had been dealing with it and talking about it with my friends. I didn’t have some crazy secret. The weirdest thing was discovering the world that he created for other women. I didn’t know how many, and I didn’t know the extent of the damage, so that was super emotional. But I feel like I had been talking about him just being an a**hole, so much that when it came out, people would put their hand on my shoulder and be like, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ It took me by surprise.”