Indie-rock supergroup boygenius returns triumphant with 3 new songs

Indie-rock supergroup boygenius returns triumphant with 3 new songs

The indie-rock band boygenius–featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker–released their latest set of singles from their upcoming album “the record on January 28th.

The supergroup was formed in 2018, when the three friends collaborated in writing, recording, and self-producing a six-song self-titled EP that year. The band name is a reference to the archetype of the “tortured genius,” a male artist who was told their work was great since the beginning of their career, and who never face the adversity female artists must overcome in the music industry.  The members of boygenius never promised to be anything more than a side project. However, they returned stronger than ever with the assurance of a full album to come, proving the first EP was not a one time fluke.

Each of the singles released from “the record holds true to the styles of their primary writers far more than in boygenius’ first EP.

The Baker-led first single, “$20,” is harder-rocking and more upbeat than the average boygenius song. Unlike the songs following it, “$20” is the most collaborative track, with an obvious combined sound. A choppy almost pop-punk guitar riff runs under lyrics similar to many of Baker’s other songs, describing the end of a relationship and a desperate compulsion toward self-ruin. The middle of the track sees a turn with screaming guitars and voices similar to that of “I Know the End” off of Bridgers’ album Punisher. This end to “$20” shows the resignation and hysteria of the song’s protagonist, and brings a satisfying conclusion to the wonderfully chaotic and multifaceted tune.

Bridgers leads the group in their second track “Emily I’m Sorry.” This song is a more compassionate folk-rock portrait of a relationship nearing collapse. The heartbreaking lyrics of Bridgers surrounded by the voices of Dacus and Baker that come in on the song’s chorus provide a countermelody that captures the feeling of being both carried forward and trapped by love. The almost dreamlike atmosphere created by “Emily I’m Sorry” is carried by verses that feel both hopeful and regretful and by a guitar part similar to “Chinese Satellite” off of Bridgers’ Punisher. This track has soared to become one of boygenius’ most popular, with almost 4 million streams on Spotify since its release.

Dacus takes the lead on “True Blue,” a true love song exploring how it feels to have someone know you better than you know yourself. This plays to Dacus’ strengths as a songwriter, allowing her to demonstrate deep connections through illustrating specific moments in time. Her storytelling through “True Blue” is timeless, and can relate to anyone struck by love. Baker and Bridgers support Dacus in both vocal harmonies and in the production of this track.

The three singles, “$20,” “Emily I’m Sorry,” and “True Blue” show the true melding of three of the greatest modern indie rock musicians, and act as a great preview for “the record,” their album set to release March 31.