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Phoebe Bridgers and Jehnny Beth with the new and noteworthy 

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Phoebe Bridgers, Punisher (Deep Oceans) – Since her debut solo album, Bridgers has appeared in the supergroup boygenius with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus and toured in a duo with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. Bridgers brings all her compatriots into the studio for this stunning sophomore effort, sounding more self-assured. The lyrical specificity and sweeping arrangements in tracks like “Kyoto” demonstrate that this album is a masterpiece in the manner of Fiona Apple or Frances Quinlan.

Jehnny Beth, To Love Is to Live (20L07 Music) – Beth (Camille Berthomier), the French lead singer of UK’s Savages, has slowly migrated to softer works of desire, away from her bandmates’ anarcho-feminist dissonant sounds. The complex structure of this new sung and spoken-word album ponders the lines between human and borg, between desire and consummation, between many apparent opposites. When Beth is unadorned, as in the piano-and-voice plainness of “French Countryside,” she rivals Kate Bush at her best. At other times, her ambition to make meaningful art can get in the way. The 11 songs here deserve careful pondering, even if the pomposity shows at times.

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