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Phoebe Bridgers is trying to write happier songs: “It’s a challenge to myself”

While discussing her recent track, ‘Sidelines’, Phoebe Bridgers explained that she has been trying to write happier songs of late. “It’s a challenge to myself,” she said.

‘Sidelines’ is the Californian singer’s recent contribution to the soundtrack of Conversations With Friends, the TV adaption of Sally Rooney’s novel of the same title. The single is a marked change in mood since Bridgers’ latest album, 2020’s Punisher. In a recent interview with Variety, she revealed this was a purposeful shift in focus.

“I’m striving to do more stuff like that. I think it’s more challenging to sound smart and write well about happiness than it is about sadness. In the interest of not seeming trite, I lean toward darker subject matter, just out of comfort. And I think a challenge to myself, now, is being articulate about things that are good.”

Of her production choices, she said: “I wanted it to be hi-fi in some ways, and beautiful and cinematic, and lo-fi in other ways, and it was really hard to find that balance.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, Bridgers discussed her love of Rooney’s books. “I think Sally’s writing is so beautiful and perfect, and Normal People affected me deeply, too, in totally different ways.”

Bridgers added that she feels that there is a particular connection between herself and Conversations With Friends protagonist Frances Flynn, played by Alison Oliver. “I feel like I’m more similar to Frances than any character in pop culture, ever,” she said.

“Frances is so, so confident in her own art – she knows she’s great, and she thinks she’s the smartest person in the room – but she’s also so deeply, deeply self-conscious. And that balance in a person was super jarring to read for the first time.”

Bridgers released the official video for ‘Sidelines’ last week, which features snippets of behind-the-scenes footage from her current Reunion Tour shot by her brother Jackson Bridgers – watch below.