Phair debuted to critical acclaim in 1993 with her influential album Exile In Guyville
and, nearly three decades later, it was very much on her mind when she reunited with producer Brad Wood for Soberish
. Phair told The New Yorker
she had a specific vision for the album: "I wanted to use the sounds that we had used on Guyville
, but with the added complexity of me now being fifty-plus years old. And I really wanted it to feel distinct from other work that's coming out."
She added: "Whatever it was, it had to be experimental - but it couldn't feel
like that. It had to pass you by without you ever knowing that I'd done something radical with the arrangement. It had to feel hooky and easy to listen to."