They hit it off: The day after they met—“literally maybe 12 hours” later, she said—Adams invited her to his studio to record her 2015 EP, .
They finished recording the EP’s three tracks in just half an hour: “So manic,” Bridgers told me, sighing.
“He’s like, kind of yelling at me—but in, like, compliments.” (Now, when she listens to the EP, all she hears is her nerves.) When they were done, they went across the street to the 7-11 and bought “the most abysmal snacks ever.”: It lingers on tiny, precise scenes—much of it from Bridgers’s own experiences—their specificity gesturing at something larger.
“Funeral,” Bridgers’s most recent single, is in part about the funeral for a peer who died of a heroin overdose, but it also examines depression and anxiety.
It’s like warm bread water.” Someone in the crowd let out a small whoop of protest.
Towards the end of 2016, while she was recording the album, Bridgers opened for Conor Oberst during a secret show he put on at L. At the same time, Oberst’s Bright Eyes bandmate Mike Mogis signed on to mix the record at his Omaha studio; Bridgers, as a result, spent five days in Nebraska with Mogis and Oberst, who live on the same property. Earlier this year, Bridgers opened for Oberst on several more tour dates; there are a couple videos floating around Youtube in which Bridgers and Oberst duet on Bright Eyes’ “Lua.”Oberst is also featured on , in “Would You Rather,” and as the album was coming together, Bridgers emailed it to him for notes.“He said like a paragraph about each song. Then, he came to the album closer, a cover of Mark Kozelek’s “You Missed My Heart." His response: “THAT’S INTENSE,” Bridgers recalled. The record might be sad, but it’s also full of witty moments and literary references, making it feel like a full portrait of a bold new artist.“It’s a record I’ve been waiting to put out since I started playing music,” Bridgers said.Through a family friend, Bridgers began listening to “weirder stuff” like Guided by Voices and Girl in a Coma—and, eventually, Elliott Smith: “I’m obsessed with Elliott Smith, which is very common knowledge,” Bridgers admitted.