One My Chemical Romance cover later and the autumnal need to delve into the backlog of deserving artists bubbles to the surface. Sloppy Jane and the Madison project is by far the most interesting musical offering of the last decade – and My Misery Will Bury You, a mini-release teaming with Phoebe Bridgers – is a neat and enjoyable continuation. Built up for the anniversary of Madison and featuring a Bridgers cover of the on-album track, Wilt, this single is a reminder that new material does not mean new progression. Old material – or in this instance, recently released and still relevant work – can be retrofitted and pulled into a new part of an artist’s work, even if it was already an essential piece.
Wilt has kicked around for a decade and finally found a place – in the first flickers of life from the Sloppy Jane project, the early live shows of Bridgers and now a 7-inch single to celebrate its final resting place, Madison. Pinged back and forth like a ball between rackets, My Misery Will Bury You gives two lyrically gifted artists the chance to showcase their love of a track which has guided their works for, near enough, ten years. Surgical precision countered by the fumblings of a drunk – the balance struck by Wilt is a lush display when paired with light and plucky piano notes. Its darker appeal has an essential balance to it, nicely timed and tuned. Like any great song, it works wrapped within the album whole and isolated – as many Sloppy Jane songs do.
Bridgers’ ambitious cover of the track is not too great a change of pace but does provide a neat understanding of vocal differentiations changing the meaning of a song. It is more a highlight of the precision needed to pull off the Madison tracks than anything else. Ripping away from the orchestral pieces and holding firm with an acoustic number, Bridgers’ efforts are a strong showcase of not just her talents but the ability she has to bring out the best in the works of other artists. Different meanings and collections, yes, but her covers at Glastonbury ‘22 and her adaptations of songs alongside Arlo Parks show a crucial piece which is needed for any cover – respect for the original. It is the key to any good cover, bringing about your own version but understanding the intention of the original.
Balancing acts like this are few and far between – but Sloppy Jane is stellar at those, as is Bridgers – a year on from their collected piece collaboration, and nearly ten from the start of Wilt. Time flies when a project comes together as well as Madison, and for Bridgers, the guidance this track offered in those pre-Punisher tours is still clear to hear. Wilt lives on and will for a fair time after this year-on review – it is a strong song for Bridgers and Sloppy Jane to mull over and pull apart occasionally. Longstanding in its impact on the Madison-era project it predates, this My Misery Will Bury You double-bill is a celebration of great music which impacts its performers possibly more than its listeners.