In what's likely the biggest indie rock collaboration since Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst formed Better Oblivion Community Center, Bridgers and The National's Matt Berninger have just released a new song together called "Walking on a String." The track was written for and appeared in Netflix's new film Between Two Ferns: The Movie. If you've watched the movie, you'll remember a scene where Berninger and Bridgers perform the song at a dive bar while wearing really cool cowboy suits.
Berninger explains the track's origins to Rolling Stone:
“[Director] Scott Aukerman called and told me he and Zach had an important scene in a honky-tonk bar in middle America,” Berninger says. “They needed a band and a song and said I could do whatever I wanted. My wife Carin and I wrote the lyrics really quickly and I called Tony Berg to produce. I didn’t realize he was in the studio with Phoebe at the time but she graciously let me crash her sessions and that’s when we had the idea to turn it into a duet.”
The duo has paired the song release with a new video that documents Berninger and Bridgers recording the track at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. Also appearing the clip are The Walkmen's guitarist Walter Martin, drummer Matt Barrick, and even Zach Galifianakis. "Walking on a String, Berninger tells Rolling Stone, is "a song about how our problems and anxieties can build up and feel like a tangled inescapable web.” It's a rewarding build throughout that simmers to a charged-up guitar freakout towards the end of its runtime. Both Berninger and Bridgers are two of the genre's most prominent singers so it's no surprise their voices pair nicely here. Listen to the whole thing below.