Phoebe Bridgers says “there will always be a place for” the guitar

It’s hard for a simple singer-songwriter to sound dated, she argues.

Image: Scott Dudelson / Getty

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Phoebe Bridgers has spoken out about the timeless nature of guitar-based songwriting, saying that there will “always be a place” for the act.

Speaking to Rolling Stone’s podcast Music Now, the songwriter said “There’s just some sort of longevity with making guitar-based music. Especially if you don’t stick to a specific genre, and you always write good songs. You have the chance to be, like, a John Prine character, where his last record was one of his best-selling records.”

John Prine died earlier this year at the age of 73 from complications related to COVID-19. He was a hugely influential musician, with artists from across the world of music citing his deeply emotional and humorous songs as inspiration. The album Bridgers is referring to is titled Tree Of Forgiveness, and was mostly written collaboratively with songwriters such as Pat McLaughlin and Dan Auerbach.

Bridgers continued: “I think there will always be a place for it. Someone like Jackson Browne, a lot of his music sounds dated. You can say the exact year that something came out because of a drum sound. But because he’s a great songwriter, he transcends that.”

Bridgers’ own music takes on a similar self-effacing, humorous and deeply personal approach to Prine’s, and often captures a similar, if more modern, slice of Americana. Shortly after the release of her second album Punisher, she also paid tribute to John Prine with a cover of his song Summer’s End.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, she also reminisced about the influence of Eddie Van Halen on her, saying: “I kind of was a hesh-ian tween. So I definitely learned a lot of Van Halen on guitar. Van Halen is super, super-seminal. But also, they were one the ones who invented the rider trick of [no brown] M&Ms, right? Absolutely love that. There’s nothing better than when you forget to change your rider from the United States to Europe, and you have guacamole on your rider in the States. And then you get to Germany, and it’s in a can and it’s called avocado sauce.”

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