American songwriter Phoebe Bridgers and Irish author Sally Rooney are a match made in heaven, with works that mine world-shattering emotions out of everyday intimacies. Now you can find both in one place, as Hulu’s trailer for the adaptation of Rooney’s Conversations with Friends features a new Bridgers song, “Sidelines,” as its soundtrack.
Bridgers is famously a fan of Hulu and Rooney’s work. In May of 2020, she tweeted that she had watched the miniseries adaptation of Rooney’s novel Normal People, writing, “and now I’m sad and horny.” This led star Paul Mescal to respond, “I’m officially dead,” prompting Bridges to flirt back, “nooo don’t die your so talented aha.” Now the pair are dating.
But even apart from her interest in Normal People’s leading man, there’s plenty of overlap in Bridgers’ and Rooney’s themes. Rooney, 31, approaches sex with about the same gusto as Quentin Tarantino approaches violence. In her books, intimacy isn’t just worthy of attention for aesthetic reasons, it’s also a powerful bridge to broader conversations about money and class, self and society.
Conversations with Friends was published in 2017, and this debut novel vaulted Rooney to international literary stardom. Like the book, the series follows four people — narrator Frances (Alison Oliver), her best friend Bobbi (Sasha Lane), and married couple Nick (Joe Alwyn) and Melissa (Jemima Kirk) — as they self-delude and self-destruct their way through a series of intimate encounters.
The lyrics to Bridgers’ new song “Sidelines” appear only sporadically throughout the trailer, but the little glimmers we get suggest that the 27-year-old songwriter is wrestling with the same themes. “I’m not afraid of anything at all,” Bridgers nearly whispers as the characters start to emerge from their shells. If only that were the end of it. “We’re on a plane going down,” she sighs as Nick and Melissa explore affairs with Frances and Bobbi, respectively. Soon Bridgers sings, “Now I know what it feels like,” in a tone that suggests she wishes she didn’t.
Check out the trailer below. Conversations with Friends premieres on Hulu on May 15th. You won’t have to wait quite that long to hear the full version of “Sidelines,” which Bridgers is officially releasing on Friday, April 15th. Besides that, you’ll probably be able to catch the song live on her upcoming “Reunion Tour,” which kicks off tomorrow in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets are available here.