Conor Oberst And Phoebe Bridgers, More Than A Friendship?
Does the love life of the artists you listen to matter? Don’t lie, of course it does, otherwise, a long list of publications and media would not exist. The audience cares about the dating lives of any superstar and rockstar, and if you want to give the politically correct answer – ‘it’s not of my business’ – you are either lying or you belong to a very small minority of people. Songwriters often project parts of their private lives in their songwriting, so why not be interested in their private lives?
Since their collaboration on ‘Better Oblivion Community Center,’ there have been a lot of speculations regarding the relationship between Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers, and since Bright Eyes has just released a new album, Conor was a guest of the Late Late Show with James Corden on Tuesday night. He mentioned spending the beginning of his quarantine in LA, in the house ‘with my girl’ and immediately, speculations started. I was under the impression that Conor was still happily married but this recent article in the Fader mentions that he and Corina Figueroa Escamilla, his wife of seven years, started to separate just before the release of his solo album, ‘Salutations,’ in 2017. So who is this girl Conor is mentioning? Could it be Phoebe Bridgers? Could it be the girl he spent a lot of time with these past years?
Even though he talks about her as a friend, he has been raving about her, like in this piece for Pitchfork:
‘She totally knocked it out of the park [with Punisher]. I don’t think there’s any limit to her talent. She’s just so fucking real and such a hard worker. People can’t really fuck with her. She’s gonna do her thing and it’s gonna be awesome to witness. I just love her so much. There are very few people you meet in life that change you: I remember my life before I met her and after.’
So if Phoebe Bridgers was a life-altering experience for Conor, this at least demonstrates a profound admiration, maybe nothing else, but their lives have been intertwined quite a bit besides their last year’s album. One of Phoebe’s most famous songs,’Motion Sickness,’ is also the title of a Bright Eyes’ song, and the title of a live album documenting the ‘I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning’ tours. I guess you have to be in very good terms to steal the title of a song! Conor Oberst is also credited for 5 songs of her last album ‘Punisher,’ so this is proof they have been very close for some time. It is also speculated that ‘Moon Song’ could be about Conor because of lines like these: ‘You are sick and you’re married/And you might be dying’ – Conor was still married when they met in 2016 and he was diagnosed with a cyst on his brain in 2016 – and ‘When you saw the dead little bird’ – which could be the answer to ‘You’re the yellow bird that I’ve been waiting for’ in Bright Eyes’ ‘Poison Oak’.
I am certainly not the only one questioning their relationship, and if this thread or this thread haven’t been very popular because of the politically correct Reddit police, some people have implied there is more than just friendship: ’People on Instagram I follow that are friends with phoebe posting them together, he’s with her on tour constantly and not at home with his (ex?)wife. Hell, I even met phoebes tour manager and he told me. They aren’t exactly hiding it,’ wrote a fan. Plus Phoebe has already dated Ryan Adams, another 20-year-older-than-her famous singer-songwriter, so that situation would not be the first time for her.
In the end, they have made an album together, have continued to collaborate, and have apparently real chemistry when they play together … look at them, eyes do not lie. This would only be the umpteenth times this is happening in music history, and I will let you guess which song is about her on the last Bright Eyes album.