For Phoebe Bridgers, driving and the motion sickness that can oftentimes come with it, becomes a means of metaphorically translating the feelings of ‘emotional sickness’ that she herself experienced within an abusive and toxic relationship;
‘emotional motion sickness / somebody roll the windows down’
Through sharp, unfiltered storytelling and powerful lyrical content, the song alludes the concept of having a sick to the stomach emotion, which becomes a physical outlet for the psychological inner pain attached to an abusive relationship. The lyrics further highlight the long lasting effect and emotional impact of such abuse, as one which may only be short term time-wise, but in reality is long-lasting, and with this impact taints all of your future experiences ;
‘There are no words in the English language / I could scream to drown you out.”
Although this song offers an insight as to how this type of behaviour is both unacceptable and horrible, it simultaneously offers a reflection of Bridgers strength, as the embodiment of all those who are victims of relationship abuse. The fact that this very song exists, and Bridgers so eloquently writes about it and has turned her experience into a tangible piece of art that can help others, it exudes a strength and breakaway of freedom, away from the hands which both held and corrupted her.
The song therefore is not just a testimony of abuse, but it actually inhibits Bridgers to reclaim her freedom and identity in its very existence. Despite being oppressed by the relationship she found herself in, ‘Motion Sickness’ provides a sense of hope and solace for anyone out there who’s found themselves as a victim to this type of crime. Amidst the depths of darkness and manipulation, Bridgers proves that anyone who is victimised like this, can find hope in knowing that reclaiming their own autonomy is possible.
You can learn more about phoebe bridgers here.
About The Curator - Jeanna Colhoun
Having previously graduated from The University of Liverpool with a BA (Hons) in Music, Jeanna is currently a student working towards her MSc in Marketing. Originally from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, her time spent in Liverpool – a city known for its rich musical heritage and thriving music scene – has enabled her to flourish among a community of fellow music lovers and network with other young creatives. Presently, Jeanna is exploring the exciting career opportunities within marketing of music and the arts, and hopes to secure a graduate job later this year.