Home Music Music Features

Song You Need to Know: Better Oblivion Community Center, ‘Dylan Thomas’

The single from the Phoebe Bridgers-Conor Oberst project is an earworm with a black heart

Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers in California in December 2018.

Koury Angelo for Rolling Stone

When Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst conceived their debut album as Better Oblivion Community Center, they tried to avoid, as Oberst put it, anything too tender and folky.” One good way to do that: Sing about living in a private hell and showering at the Bates Motel over rollicking, gold-dusted jangle, as they do on the album’s first single, “Dylan Thomas.” Elsewhere on Better Oblivion Community Center, things can feel a little bleak, in a richly beautiful kind of way. “Dylan Thomas,” by contrast, is an earworm with a black heart, mixing together lyrics that seem nod to our political mess, a chorus that definitely nods to a certain Welsh poet’s drink-induced death and a melody that feels both tossed-off and timeless. As Bridgers explained, “It’s kind of got a ‘doo, doo, do doo doo doo’ melody going on, but the lyrics are like heinous.” You’ll be glad to have something so heinous stuck in your head.


Powered by