So, How Was Your Decade is a series in which the decade’s most innovative musicians answer our questionnaire about the music, culture, and memorable moments that shaped their decade. We’ll be rolling out these pieces throughout December.
From Mitski to Soccer Mommy to Snail Mail, the 2010s saw the rise of incredible female indie songwriters. One of the leading artists of the genre was Phoebe Bridgers, a 25-year-old Los Angeles musician who attracted listeners with sharp, introspective songwriting that contained the emotional gravitas of a 7,000-pound semi-truck. “I hate you for what you did,” she seethes on her 2017 debut, Stranger in the Alps. “And I miss you like a little kid.”
Beginning with the release of her 2015 EP, Killer, Bridgers spent the latter half of the decade making music. After the release of Alps, she formed two supergroups: Boygenius, with fellow indie songwriters Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, and the folk-pop duo Better Oblivion Community Center, with Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst. She’s also released two songs with the National’s Matt Berninger — “Walking on a String” and a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night”, with Fiona Apple.
Ahead of a 2020 spring tour with the National and the release of her upcoming second solo album, Bridgers tells Rolling Stone about the highs and lows of her 2010s. “Ten years ago I was 15 and I had a bright-red bowl cut,” she says. “So I think it turned out pretty good.”
My favorite album of the 2010s was: Conor Oberst’s Ruminations, but I never want to listen to it again.
My favorite song of the 2010s was: “Jack at the Asylum” by the Felice Brothers. They somehow managed to write a patriotic song about how fucking embarrassing it is to be an American.
The artist who had the best decade was: Mitski.
The craziest thing that happened to me in the 2010s was: I graduated high school with a 1.5 GPA.
My least favorite trend in music this decade was: White dudes singing like elves.
The TV show I couldn’t stop streaming in the 2010s was: Gilmore Girls.
The best new slang term of the decade was: Bich.
The best live show I saw in the 2010s was: Jesca Hoop last night.
The most surprising encounter I had with a fellow artist this decade was: I did an escape room with Jackson Browne.
The misstep I learned the most from in the 2010s was: Just because their music is cool doesn’t mean they’re cool.
The best book I read this decade was: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado.
Something cool I did this decade that nobody noticed was: I started therapy.
The strangest thing someone said about me in the media this decade was: I don’t read anything about myself, but a German journalist asked me why I play music when women traditionally are not talented.
The best outfit I wore this decade was: I wore pajamas exclusively from age 19 to 21.
The most “2010s” moment of the 2010s was: When I let my high school girlfriend shave half my head in the bathroom between classes.
My biggest hope for the 2020s is: I hope Donald Trump gets Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap in his urethra.