Last year Phoebe Bridgers released her second album, Punisher, to immense critical acclaim. The follow-up to her debut record, Strangers In The Alps, came mid-summer, just as the pandemic was beginning to become a more intense reality and civil rights protests for Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd were erupting all over the country. In response to the growing unrest, she released her album a week early, hoping it would be a balm for some and wanting to step out of the spotlight while more important conversations were happening.
It’s that kind of self-awareness that has turned her into such a beloved young musician, and seeing her appear on Saturday Night Live — along with Schitt’s Creek star and creator Dan Levy — is a bright spot for fans during a rough start to 2021. For her first song on the show, Phoebe performed the more upbeat “Kyoto,” one of the first singles released off Punisher. It’s a song that might sound more hopeful, but deals with disassociation and disappointment. And for the special performance Phoebe and her band brought back what has now become a signature skeleton suit. Check out the video performance above and stay tuned for her second song later in the evening.