Phoebe Bridgers Delivered a Musical Guest Spot for the Ages on “SNL”

She played two songs from 2020's "Punisher"

Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers on "Saturday Night Live."

Some albums hit the scene at the exact right time where they tap into a collective mood. That was certainly the case with Phoebe Bridgers’s critically acclaimed 2020 album Punisher, which blended fantastic songwriting with a thematic resonance that struck a chord with pandemic-era America.

Writing at Vox, Emily VanDerWerff provided a spot-on summation on how Punisher tapped into the zeitgeist. “The sense of loss, death, and grief that permeates every song on Punisher gives it a unifying theme,” she wrote. “That dark theme also gains accidental weight from the album arriving in a summer when the country has been riven, over and over again, by crises that take endless numbers of lives while those in power seem utterly oblivious to what’s happening.”

Bridgers was the musical guest on last night’s Saturday Night Live, and she and her band but in a bracing, stunning performance. At Consequence of Sound, Alex Young phrased it perfectly: “If America didn’t know the name Phoebe Bridgers prior to tonight, they surely did after.”

And that’s the thing about tapping into a collective mood — sometimes it can lead to unexpected or cathartic places. And the conclusion of this version of “I Know the End” was — apologies to Almost Famous‘s William Miller — nothing short of incendiary. And the skeleton costumes were a nice touch.

Bridgers can most recently be heard on “Favor,” the latest single from her boygenius bandmate Julien Baker.

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