Phoebe Bridgers has a knack for conversational lyrics: she can serenade you and speak to you in the same breath. This quality sets her apart from the scores of young singer/songwriters working in the same wheelhouse, i.e. intimate, confessional, downcast ‘indie folk’ (for lack of a better tag) that deals with depression and alienation. While the competition staggers between overwrought and dull, Bridgers plays it straight. She makes heavy subjects feel not only relatable but oddly comforting: listening to her sing about her flaws and fears might make it easier to live with your own. She’s been compared to Bob Dylan by Ryan Adams (who produced her standout 2015 EP Killer), but like the best millennial artists, she embraces a wider range of influences— from Mötörhead to David Bowie, both of whom Bridgers name-checks in her lyrics— even if her music sounds nothing like any of it. The more fleshed-out compositions on Stranger in the Alps have a smoky atmosphere akin to Chris Isaak and Sharon Van Etten, both of whom have graced David Lynch soundtracks over the years (Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks, respectively); such associations speak to how well Bridgers marries the beautiful and the haunting. The rest of her songs have more of a stripped-down ‘bedroom’ aesthetic, a la early Elliott Smith or Mark Kozelek– two of Bridgers’s heroes and her most obvious antecedents (a cover of Kozelek’s “You Missed My Heart” closes out this record). Like most debuts, this one isn’t perfect– both “Killer” and “Georgia” work better in raw form — but the highs greatly outnumber the lows.