Song of the Week: Phoebe Bridgers Delivers the Christmas Gift of Seasonal Affective Disorder on “So Much Wine”

The post Song of the Week: Phoebe Bridgers Delivers the Christmas Gift of Seasonal Affective Disorder on “So Much Wine” appeared first on Consequence.

Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Phoebe Bridgers leads us into the holiday season.

Many people will tell you that the holiday season officially begins on Black Friday, which ushers in a frenzy of consumerism and renewed debate about whether Love Actually is a good or bad movie (it’s the latter) in an eggnog-soaked sprint to December 25th.

Those people are lying to you. The holiday season officially begins whenever Phoebe Bridgers says it does.

With “So Much Wine,” Bridgers adds a new entry to her annual tradition of releasing melancholy Christmas tunes. She’s shared five covers since 2017 — “Day After Tomorrow” by Tom Waits, “If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard, “7 O’Clock News / Silent Night” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Christmas Song” by McCarthy Trenching, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland — that have veered closer to the Depressed December end of the holiday spectrum than those of the merry and bright variety. The Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine” keeps up that sad streak, with Bridgers delivering the yuletide alcoholism lament with tenderness and grace.

As a song, “So Much Wine” is a gift that keeps on giving. Where the original version is a twangy duet between husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks, and a recent cover by Katy Kirby strips the tune back to just piano and vocal harmonies, Bridgers’ rendition sits somewhere in the middle, chugging along with Marshall Vore’s drumming and Harrison Whitford on guitar, as well as bass by Soul Coughing’s Sebastian Steinberg and vocals by Bridgers’ partner, Paul Mescal.

Andrew Bird — who has recorded his own excellent cover of this song and recently duetted with Bridgers on his song “I felt a Funeral, in my brain” — also sings and provides top-tier whistling.

It’s a Christmas song that makes you feel good about feeling bad (or vice-versa). Plus, all proceeds from “So Much Wine” benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which specializes in substance abuse treatment for queer people and people living with HIV.

Mariah Carey may be the Queen of Christmas, but “So Much Wine” continues Phoebe Bridgers’ glorious reign as the holiday’s Sad King.

— Spencer Dukoff

Honorable Mentions

DAGR, Cherry Glazerr – “Texas”

DAGR are an LA-based experimental duo who make hip-hop-centric music full of wistfulness and longing, while Cherry Glazerr has crafted her own signature sound of grungy, garage rock. Together, they are a match made in heaven – or dare we say hell – with their new collaborative single, “Texas.” Initially conceived as a love letter to the “absurdity” of DAGR’s home state, the song is cinematic and trippy, perfect for soundtrack a seedy night full of quiet hedonism. Clementine Creevy’s vocals are dreamy and haunting atop the minimal production: “I’m on cloud 9, don’t trip/ Have a good time… you’re on my mind.” We’re yearning tonight, folks. — Cady Siregar

Kimbra – “replay!”

Kimbra has returned with “replay!,” the second single off her upcoming album, A Recknoning, due out January 23rd. Now a seasoned pop veteran, Kimbra is no stranger to reinventing, expanding, or destroying her sound, always challenging herself and upping the ante. For “replay!”, Kimbra prioritizes a percussive, rhythm-heavy sound, cycling between distorted, chaotic yelps and serene melodies in her lower register. “What’s the matter with my head?” she barks in confusion, before landing on the hypnotic chorus: “All I see, all that stays/ pictures of us, on replay.” It’s a rousing exercise in contrasts, and one made more intriguing by Kimbra’s malleable, unpredictable voice. She may be lamenting the “replay,” but for us, it’s hard not to keep this one on repeat. — Paolo Ragusa

Joesef – “Just Come Home With Me Tonight”

Scottish singer and songwriter Joesef has finally announced his highly anticipated debut Permanent Damage (due out January 13th), and shared the lush and soulful single, “Just Come Home With Me Tonight.” The song highlights Joesef’s irresistible voice while remaining dreamy and restrained — his delicate vocal runs are never too heavy, his tone full of character and longing. But there’s a romantic tension in the song that adds an even deeper layer, a strong balance of melancholy and euphoria that mirrors the moments of desire and vulnerability with a potential partner. It’s a wonderful example of what Joesef does best, and it’s setting up Permanent Damage to be an affecting and mesmerizing debut album. — P.R.

Chat Pile – “Tenkiller”

With the crushing, wonderfully disgusting God’s Country, Chat Pile had a hell of a 2022. The album propelled the Oklahoma natives into the spotlight of underground noise rock and freak-metal — and deservingly so, may we add. Now, to cap off the year, the group is set to release their original score for the independent film Tenkiller.

With a b-side made up of a genuinely compelling piece of arena-country (there’s a serious novelty to listening to a rodeo-romp made by the band who brought us “Grimmace_Smoking_Weed.jpeg”), it’s the soundtrack’s title track that’s sure to grab fans attention. Another helping of the feedback-laden, tone-melting noise rock that made God’s Country so enjoyable, “Tenkiller” features all of the best Chat Pile-isms: unhinged vocals, a sludgy tempo, chugging guitars, and noise-freakout of an ending. Any fans of the band writing the release off as a detour are missing out on some quintessential Chat Pile. — Jonah Krueger

Tennis – “One Night with the Valet”

To preview the indie-pop duo’s upcoming album POLLEN, Tennis has dropped the hazy, short-and-sweet “One Night with the Valet.” Husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore keep it simple on the track, with a programmed drum beat, resonant piano chords, and nostalgic synth lines. Luckily, the song doesn’t need much more. The tune is irresistible, and with Moore’s sweetly sung lead vocals, there’s little about the track that isn’t instantly lovable. At less than two minutes in runtime, “One Night with the Valet” is sure to be on repeat as fans anxiously await POLLEN. — J.K.

DAMOYEE – “little liar”

There’s something intoxicating about “little liar,” the new single from singer-songwriter DAMOYEE. The balance between synth-pop and string-laden R&B underscores the all too relatable story DAMOYEE is telling through the lyrics, one of a friendship that turns into a romance which inevitably turns into something toxic and unrecognizable. As a writer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, DAMOYEE is constructing her vision from the ground-up with her own two hands and affecting voice, and the result is hard to look away from. — Mary Siroky

FLETCHER – “Better Version” feat. Kelsea Ballerini

The deluxe version of FLETCHER’s wonderful album Girl of My Dreams has arrived, and it includes a new take on track “Better Version,” this time with pop-country vocalist Kelsea Ballerini. While clearly a personal and honest offering from FLETCHER, Ballerini’s appearance on the song — which includes a clever reference to the latter’s 2022 album, SUBJECT TO CHANCE — feels pulled from the same emotional space. It can be immensely difficult to work through personal heartbreak on a public scale, like Ballerini has had to do throughout recent months, and this song feels like a safe place for both artists to express and vent. — M. Siroky

JP Saxe – “The Good Parts”

“Can we separate the way it ended from the person?” JP Saxe asks on his tender new single, “The Good Parts.” Often, in the midst of heartbreak, it feels like there are only two choices: wallowing in the pining and sadness for what was lost, or cutting off the other party entirely. Saxe’s latest digs into another option, one that usually only stems from time and some healing, and allows for space to recognize “the good parts” in a relationship, even if it’s ended. Regarding the track, he noted in a release that he wanted to focus on “the healthy recognition that there can be beautiful parts in a relationship that ends. You can heal without having to destroy it, and you can also heal without over-romanticizing it.” Saxe seems to have a knack for putting those amorphous and intensely human spaces into words. — M. Siroky

skaiwater – “ihy”

While skaiwater may say “I fuckin’ hate you,” he’s unsure if that sentiment rings true through this moody, melodic track. Electronically somber, “ihy” features a versatile vocal approach from the rising artist/producer as he expresses his turmoil over a relationship slipping from his grasp: “And I need love from you/ Why am I fighting with my best friend?” When he admits “I know it’s nothing you did” and “my soul’s conflicted,” we can’t help but hope that things work out. — Joe Eckstein

K.Flay – “It’s Been So Long”

After “shaking off all of the negative emotions,” K.Flay just wants to have some fun, and she does so here. The artist exudes confidence throughout the track, evoking power and a sense of autonomy. “It’s Been So Long” is vibrant and refreshing; an invitation to join her in a moment of euphoria. “There’s that moment after heartbreak or loss or pain when you emerge from the wreckage and finally feel good again — ready to go out dancing, ready to be yourself, ready to feel handsome… ‘It’s Been So Long’ is about that feeling,” K.Flay said in a statement. Don’t mind if we do. — J.E.

Liv.e – “Wild Animals”

With the announcement of Liv.e’s sophomore album Girl In The Half Pearl (due February 10th), she also unleashed “Wild Animals,” a profound teaser of what’s to come. The cascading piano scores the singer’s lulling vocals, resulting in a soulful and serene tone. The “dogs” Liv.e sings about are nothing new, and she’s done with dealing with their gimmicks. She calls their bluff, while also urging those caught up in their deceit to stop playing along: “I hope that girl make the choice to leave ’em.” — J.E.

Top Songs Playlist:

Song of the Week: Phoebe Bridgers Delivers the Christmas Gift of Seasonal Affective Disorder on “So Much Wine”
Consequence Staff

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