Phoebe Bridgers hasn’t been in the public eye for long, but she’s started off an annual tradition. Every December, she comes out with a new Christmas song. In 2017, she dropped a misty take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Last year, she teamed up with Jackson Browne for a devastating cover of McCarthy Trenching’s “Christmas Song.” And this year, she’s done a version of “Silent Night” with two very special guests: Fiona Apple and the National’s Matt Berninger.
This time around, there’s something slightly gimmicky about the track. Bridgers and Apple sing “Silent Night” in close harmony over a still, slow-rotating guitar. While they’re doing that, Berninger, playing a newscaster, reels off a series of apocalyptic news stories about Donald Trump and the environment and whatnot. It’s basically a Simon & Garfunkel cover; the duo did a similar version of “Silent Night” on their 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme.
As with Simon & Garfunkel’s version, the contrast is stark, and the point is clear: It’s hard to maintain a still and magical sense of holiday togetherness when the world keeps jutting in. But the real great thing about this is the chance to hear Phoebe Bridgers and Fiona Apple sing “Silent Night” together. Check it out below.
Bridgers recorded “7 O’Clock News / Silent Night” at Sound City Studios, and it’s out now on Dead Oceans as a benefit single, raising money for Planned Parenthood. In a press release, Bridgers has this to say:
Happy Holidays to everyone whose family has been literally or figuratively torn apart by Donald Trump. And to my racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, hypocritical family members, fuck you. Thanks Fiona, Matt, Simon, and Garfunkel.
Earlier this fall, Bridgers teamed up with Matt Berninger for “Walking On A String,” a song frm the Between Two Ferns movie. This is Berninger’s first time singing with Fiona Apple, and hopefully it’s not her last.