Indie-rock artist Phoebe Bridgers made her name with her debut LP Stranger in the Alps and two music groups boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center. This week, Bridgers drops the video to accompany the closer on her sophomore album Punisher, the screamo ballad “I Know the End.” The accompanying video complements her notable stream of consciousness writing style as it provides glimpses into the mysterious and vulnerable mind of Bridgers.
The music video for “I Know the End” may not have a clear, cohesive storyline to follow, but that feels like Bridgers’ point. In a statement on Apple Music, Bridgers remarks how for the song, she wanted “to write about driving up the coast to Northern California, which I’ve done a lot in my life. It’s like a super specific feeling. This is such a stoned thought, but it feels kind of like purgatory to me, doing that drive, just because I have done it at every stage of my life, so I get thrown into this time that doesn’t exist when I’m doing it, like I can’t differentiate any of the times in my memory. I guess I always pictured that during the apocalypse, I would escape to an endless drive up north.”
The past, present, and future intertwine and flash in and out of each other. With the way Bridgers writes up a scene with different visions of America and adds allusions to film The Wizard of Oz, she blends with the nostalgic familiarity. The images have no definite sense of time but that was never the intention. The music blends two completely different styles and Bridgers doesn’t care. Both in the song itself and in the video, she throws things together, and it ends up creating a sense of wholehearted deliverance that makes the song so unique.
At the end of the video, Bridgers makes out with an old woman, who resembles Bridgers with her white hair. Bridgers literally embraces old age and the inevitability of death, reflecting her lyric of “No, I’m not afraid to disappear. A billboard ends reading ‘THE END IS NEAR.’”