Phoebe Bridgers – “Sidelines”

Gene Hyder

Phoebe Bridgers – “Sidelines”

Gene Hyder

Conversations With Friends is a new Hulu series adapted from the novel of the same name by the young Irish generational voice Sally Rooney. It features a new song by Phoebe Bridgers, which makes all kinds of sense — and not just because Bridgers is dating Paul Mescal, who starred in Hulu’s prior Sally Rooney adaptation, Normal People. (One of the stars of Conversations With Friends is Joe Alwyn, longtime boyfriend of recent Bridgers duet partner Taylor Swift, who wrote a song for a new movie starring Mescal’s Normal People costar Daisy Edgar-Jones… it’s all connected!)

“Sidelines,” the new Bridgers song, was previewed in the Conversations With Friends trailer, and now it’s out. It’s her first new solo track since the release of Punisher in 2020, which seems impossible given her near-constant flurry of activity since then. Bridgers wrote “Sidelines” with Marshall Vore and Ruby Rain Henley.

“I’m not afraid of anything at all,” she sings over percolating synths and soaring strings. “Not dying in a fire, not being broke again.” Eventually her voice is subsumed by digital effects without undermining the emotional vulnerability she made her name on. This is a song that subtly evolves the Phoebe Bridgers formula rather than completely reinventing it; if you’ve ever been a fan of her work, I suspect you’ll enjoy it quite a bit. Listen below.

And here’s footage of Bridgers debuting “Sidelines” Wednesday night in Phoenix:

Conversations With Friends premieres 5/15 on Hulu and BBC Three. “Sidelines” is out now on Dead Oceans.

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