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Album Review: Phoebe Bridgers releases ‘Punisher’ early, encouraging fans to donate to racial justice charities

Three years after the release of her solo debut ‘S..

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Three years after the release of her solo debut ‘Stranger In The Alps’, Phoebe Bridgers has released her highly anticipated album ‘Punisher’ earlier than expected in order to encourage fans to donate to organisations geared towards racial injustice. Announcing the release, she tweeted:

“I’m not pushing the record until things go back to ‘normal’ because I don’t think they should. Here it is a little early. Abolish the police. Hope you like it.”

Phoebe Bridgers

You can listen to the album via the link below after donating to one of the amazing organisations suggested such as Movement For Black Lives, Downtown Women’s Centre and The Trevor Project. We have included information about each charity at the end of our review to allow you to make an informed donation.

https://phoebebridgers.ffm.to/punish

The album begins with a dreamy instrumental introduction, setting the tone for the tracks ahead before blending into ‘Garden Song’ which Phoebe explained she wrote about the reoccurring nightmares she had while on tour. The stripped back acoustic style accentuates her vocals and and allows her to paint a picture in your mind, letting the lyrics speak for themselves.

Next we have the uptempo indie rock sound of ‘Kyoto’ which brings a gradual build of punchy riffs throughout, catchy melodies and lyrics which explore Phoebe’s inner musings during her tour across Japan. The unique accompaniment of the horn creates a joyful fanfare that would fit perfectly into a coming of age indie movie soundtrack, despite the darker tone to some of the lyrics

The title track ‘Punisher’ was written as an ode to Singer-Songwriter Elliott Smith. Speaking to The New Yorker, Phoebe said that she is a super fan who knows far too much about his music to the point where it’s almost obsessive, leading to her writing the track as if she were the punisher. The perfect blend of vulnerable lyrics and raw vocals make this track one of our favourites on the album.

Track 5, the eery ‘Halloween’ explores the idea that you can be whoever you want without judgement on Halloween, which may lead you to making unexpected decisions. This flows nicely into the relatable ‘Chinese Satellite’ which features a whimsical sound with a darker undertone due to it’s raw lyrics about feeling alone and trapped.

Phoebe’s hard hitting lyrics and vulnerable writing flows into ‘Moon Song’, a double sided love song exploring the rollercoaster of a relationship and ‘Saviour Complex’ which describes the psychological construct of a saviour complex within a relationship and her experiences battling with her personality. These tracks feel as though she is inviting the listener in and sharing personal aspects of her life, drawing you further into the story she is telling throughout the album.

Coming towards the end of the album, Phoebe introduces a fresh, almost electronic sound with track 9 ‘I See You’ which she wrote about her difficult breakup with her drummer, Marshall Vore and knowing that the two wrote this track together adds another layer to the story. Speaking about their relationship in an interview with Rolling Stone, Phoebe said:

“We dated for a few years, made music every day, and were extremely co-dependent. We became like family to each other, so our breakup was extremely tough. But if this tells you anything about our relationship, we wrote this song together, just like everything else.”

Phoebe Bridgers – Rolling Stone

The penultimate track on the album ‘Graceland Too’ began as a track about an MDMA trip but then developed into a reflection of the pain of caring for someone who is self-destructive and the difficulties and emotions that come alongside trying to be there for people, without being able to control their actions. The final track ‘I Know The End’ then pulls the album smoothly to a close, featuring lyrics about not being afraid to disappear, continuing the theme of abandoning what you know and creating a new reality for yourself. The lyrics aptly end on the haunting line ‘the end is near’ before building into a crescendo that portrays a release of pure emotion, contrasting greatly to the soft nature of the first half of the album and creating a profound statement of an ending.

Overall, ‘Punisher’ is a triumph of indie-folk, made even stronger by it’s purpose to support several amazing causes. Our personal highlights include Graceland Too, Punisher and Kyoto. If you would like to listen for yourself, full details on each charity that Phoebe is seeking donations for have been listed below.

M4BL: Movement For Black Lives

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) seeks to reach millions, mobilise hundreds of thousands, and organise tens of thousands, so that Black political power is a force able to influence national and local agendas in the direction of their shared Vision for Black Lives. There website holds a range of useful resources and information on their activism, transformative goals and how you can help make a difference

Websites: https://m4bl.org

LACAN

LACAN are working to create real change to the law enforcement system in the United States. Their 8 step vision includes defunding the police and returning those dollars to community based safety interventions, prosecuting cops who kill or otherwise harm Black people, prohibiting police unions from financing campaigns for district attorney, ending community policing programs, dismantling various surveillance technologies, giving civilian oversight power and changing legal mandates that enable authoritarian policing like ‘qualified immunity’. They also offer many amazing community programs, full information can be found on their website linked below.

Website: https://cangress.org

Stop LAPD Spying Coalition

Stop LAPD Spying Coalition is an alliance of different organisations and individuals, each with their own interests, mission and vision, who come together to collaborate and take collective action together toward a common goal. They reject all forms of police oppression and any policy that makes Black people suspects in the eyes of the State. Their vision is the dismantling of government-sanctioned spying and intelligence gathering, in all its multiple forms. On their website you can find lots of useful resources, information about their activism and how you can get involved and show your support.

Website: https://stoplapdspying.org

Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is a nonprofit organisation of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Their award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. They are building a membership of fierce advocates for race and gender justice — including Black and Latinx women, formerly and currently incarcerated women, transgender women, and gender non-conforming people.

Website: https://essiejusticegroup.org

Downtown Women’s Centre

The Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. They envision a Los Angeles with every woman housed and on a path to personal stability. Their mission is to end homelessness for women in greater Los Angeles through housing, wellness, employment, and advocacy.

Website: https://downtownwomenscenter.org

Youth Justice Coalition

The Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) is working to build a youth, family, and formerly and currently incarcerated people’s movement to challenge America’s addiction to incarceration and race, gender and class discrimination in Los Angeles County’s, California’s and the nation’s juvenile and criminal injustice systems. The YJC’s goal is to dismantle policies and institutions that have ensured the massive lock-up of people of colour, widespread law enforcement violence and corruption, consistent violation of youth and communities’ Constitutional and human rights, the construction of a vicious school-to-jail track, and the build-up of the world’s largest network of jails and prisons. They use transformative justice and community intervention/peace building, FREE LA High School, know your rights, legal defence, and police and court monitoring to “starve the beast” – promoting safety in our schools, homes and neighbourhoods without relying on law enforcement and lock-ups, preventing system contact, and pulling people out of the system. They use direct action organising, advocacy, political education, and activist arts to agitate, expose, and pressure the people in charge in order to upset power and bring about change.

Website: https://youthjusticela.org

The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organisation providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org

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No1 Showcase: The Art Of David Hicks

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David Hicks is a photographer who is just as interested in the behind-the-scenes stories as he is in the stories themselves. A true photojournalist, Hicks aims to capture every aspect of waking life.

Whether that be everyday activities on the streets of Cuba to the passionate and dynamic tango culture in Buenos Aries, Hicks will be there to experience it and share it. He says of his tango collection: “The Tango, a now-popular dance between a man and a woman, started in its current form in the mid-1800s, after a massive migration to Argentina, mostly by men. Because men outnumbered women by quite some number, the only way for a man to get close to a woman was via a brothel or by dance. The men practiced together, as you’d have to be a great dancer to get a woman’s attention. So, this very sexual dance you see now was born out of the reality for men in those old days. Nowadays, you see it performed often, usually on the street corners of Buenos Aires, with live musicians or a pre-recorded soundtrack, and they do it for the tips!”

Follow David’s work down below:  HiXposure (@hixposure) / Twitter  HiXposure | Facebook HiXposure Photography (@hixposure) • Instagram photos and videos

Website: HiXPOSURE | Travel Photography

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No1 News: The Mad Game Embark On Their Latest Rage Against The Machine

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It can always be a struggle when you music possesses such a crucial and pertinent message and yet you’re blocked by the damning limitations of ‘going under the radar’ – electronic animated anarchists ‘The Mad Game’ know this all too well.

The band’s debut EP, ‘Player One’, is a righteous middle finger to what they describe as ‘The Mad Game’ – the absurdities in society that have been integrated as the status quo – after tangling with governments, security services and local mafia. Their message of outrage and vitriol is a potent one found across the EPs five tracks – a mere morsel of their true potential – and is certainly enough to make listeners pay attention.

The trio’s soundscape is an eclectic one: the righteous indignation of the best punk music married beautifully to the jarring and skittish landscapes of the best electronica. The lead track, ‘Game Over ‘, in particular makes a phenomenal first impression to the animated anarchists with members Sonu, Karla and Sonya giving their respective inputs to this chilling three-pronged attack. What these newcomers nail best is their sincerity.

It’s hard to take such a venomous assault from someone you don’t genuinely believe has lived through the horrors that they detail – The Mad Game give off no such illusion. What you hear is authentic and those unaware of the band’s craft will soon learn to such things. It makes for a truly gripping and inspiring experience.

This is not a project that anyone should overlook regardless of their tastes; thoughtful, well crafted and genuine music. Not something 2021 receives in surplus.

Follow The Mad Game below: Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadGameOfficial Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madgameofficial/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/25Aqc6ubzXLDlNUw6qYV35 Bandcamp: https://madgameofficial.bandcamp.com/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUhBz3vBndOL6fV__qTn-qQ

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No1 Finds: Tunetables – A Stylish Solution To Music Storage

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“The Tunetables idea was borne,” says Rob Chappelhow, the man behind a range of ingenious new storage solutions, “out of a personal desire to have my music collection around me once again.”

That’s something all of us record-collector’s can empathise with. Now, I’ve banged on before about how, for many of us, digital streaming doesn’t cut it. Streaming services are great, but for a large number of us hard-core music fans, we want something we can hold in our sweaty hands, right? But, once you have all those lovely records, where do you put them?

Flat-pack shelving is fine, but it’s hardly inspiring. That’s where the Tunetables range comes into its own. More words from Rob Chappelhow, who explains that the idea came to him during a visit to  the Joe Strummer Archive exhibition in the basement of Fred Perry’s flagship store in Covent Garden – “Set out under an acrylic plinth was Strummer’s personal tape cassette collection…his musical heritage and inspiration perfectly showcased.”

It was totally spellbinding. I soon started to conceptualise how I could create my own version of this…a personal time capsule of life-affirming music. I wanted something that could be inherently useful, something that I would see and use every day, and that would be a talking point for like-minded music enthusiasts.”

And lo! Tunetables was born… What Chappelhow has done is to take brand new music-equipment flight-cases (the type we are well-used to seeing lugged around by roadies and musicians) and turn them into hand-crafted storage solutions for your CDs, tapes and vinyl. It’s a wonderful idea and, most importantly, they look great. As mentioned, each case is built by hand, and can be personalised with your own initials (or whatever you fancy). Storage ranges from 100 – 500 for CDs, 30 – 60 for tapes, and 75 for vinyl. That’s not a bad amount at all. I can see a lot of people going for this, from pro and semi-pro musicians to plain music-lovers such as myself. This is modern design with an old-school aesthetic. Check them out for yourself!

Check out Tunetables below: 

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