Spinning Twelves: “That Funny Feeling”

Welcome to the second installment of Spinning Twelves, an A&E column where we’ll be reviewing and talking about new singles from our favorite artists. We’ll also be taking reader suggestions for songs to check out and review!

Bedroom pop phenomenon Phoebe Bridgers returns to the indie-pop scene with her new single “That Funny Feeling.” The track — a cover of Bo Burnham’s parodic comedy song — channels Bridgers’ prowess as both a melancholic vocalist and frequenter of the internet. The stripped-down production highlights Bridgers’ infamous feathery vocals, further solidifying her role as the harbinger of sad girl fall. While it may seem like an odd choice, Bridgers’ decision to cover “That Funny Feeling” fits well within the realm of her traditionally downcast discography. The song, despite its memability and affiliation with Burnham’s satiric persona, addresses themes sprinkled throughout Bridgers’ most recent album, “Punisher.” Hidden within the song’s verbal play on culturally relevant entities (“Carpool Karaoke, Steve Aoki, Logan Paul”) are veiled references to the modern state of anxiety and isolation experienced by indie singers and comedic geniuses alike. Although they occupy vastly different niches of internet culture, both Bridgers and Burnham appear united in their general hopelessness and despair.
Cynics might regard Bridgers’ decision to align herself with Burnham as an eschewing of her always-serious, perpetually-depressed persona, but “That Funny Feeling’s” success on the Billboard charts entails much more than just a musical reinvention: proceeds from the track will benefit Texas abortion funds following governor Greg Abbott’s decision to sign restricitve abortion legislation into law. In a recent live performance of “That Funny Feeling,” Bridgers introduces the song, saying simply, “This one’s for Greg Abbott.” For many women, the recent attacks on abortion rights signify their own kind of apocalyptic collapse. As an artist whose musical ventures often address the end of the world, Bridgers’ investment in the abortion rights movement comes as no surprise. “That Funny Feeling” is just another manifestation of the existential nihilism that’s marked Bridgers’ music, bringing fans back to it time and time again.

Grade: A-
Artists: Phoebe Bridgers
Release Date: October 4, 2021

Image courtesy of Genius.

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