Song of the Week: Better Oblivion Community Center – “Dylan Thomas”

Two of today’s best singer-songwriters join forces.

We’re not even out of January yet and we already have our first major surprise of the year. Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers suddenly dropped a collaborative album this week as Better Oblivion Community Center. Neither of these artists are strangers to collaboration, with Bridgers as part of boygenius and Oberst as part of too many groups to mention. On “Dylan Thomas,” it feels like two kindred spirits looking at the world with the same sardonic sense of humor.

Over some folk-rock chords, Oberst and Bridgers alternate between harmonizing and singing their own voices. With a laid-back, quick-tongued delivery, they offer up a scathing take on today’s political scene, singing “These cats are scared and feral/The flag pins on their lapels/The truth is anybody’s guess/These talking heads are saying ‘The king is only playing/A game of four-dimensional chess.'” Add in some an electric guitar solo and singalong chorus and you’ve got a musical and lyrical gem. Dylan Thomas would be proud.

Better Oblivion Community Center is out now.