‘Kyoto’ was originally featured on Bridgers’ 2020 LP Punisher as the album’s second single. Bridgers hand-selected three artists of disparate styles to give their take on the track: 8-bit hyper-pop artist Glitch Gum, DC-based genre blender Bartees Strange, and California psychedelic rock outfit The Marias.
Glitch Gum had previously covered ‘Kyoto’, which is how he became involved in the remix. “All I know is one day, when I was in between Zoom classes last Fall, I thought, ‘Man, what if Phoebe Bridgers did hyper-pop?'” the artist explains. “That idea turned into a 30-second snippet of ‘Kyoto’, which turned into a full song, which turned into working with Phoebe and her team to make this little quarantine project come full circle in ways I could never even fathom. It was so fun deconstructing the musical realms of both Phoebe and I and combining them into something that filled the hyper-pop-indie-crossover-shaped hole in my brain.”
Strange sought to focus on retaining the core of the song while experimenting with its arrangement of impact. “I wanted to find a way to make this song hit in a completely different way, but still retain some of the big and small moments that make the song special to me,” Strange says. “At first, I was thinking through how I could use the stems, but the more I got into it, the more I wanted to take it somewhere else entirely. Crushing tune, glad I could mess around with it.”
Finally, Marias lead singer Maria Zardoya explained how her personal connection to Bridgers influenced the band’s remix.”I remember seeing Phoebe years ago at an open mic here in Los Angeles, and I knew right off the bat that she was really special. Working on this remix was a sort of full-circle moment for us. ‘Kyoto’ is an amazing song as-is, so with the remix, we were just curious to see what it would sound like with the vocal slowed down and adding some of our favourite synth sounds behind it.”
Check out the three remixes down below.