Release Date: Oct 26, 2018
Record label: Matador
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
In May, Richmond-based indie rock songwriter Lucy Dacus, fresh off the release of her second album, Historian, told Vogue that she, like all of us, was fatigued by the catchall genre of "women in indie rock. " "I think it's great that people are noticing that their favorite music right now is made by women, but I just wish it wasn't a surprise," she explained. "The fact that we're women is kind of the most boring that I could think of.
The "breakup album" is often considered a uniquely individual expression of grief or triumph. Generally, the details of an individual's romantic life have enough broad associations to the particulars of another's and we, as listeners, are able to empathize with the album in an inductive way, tracing out trends from the intimately documented debris of a former romance. This process of identification is inverted on Phoebe Bridges', Lucy Dacus', and Julien Baker's debut EP as boygenius.
It's one of those "what if" projects that people love to talk about. Wouldn't it be cool if Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus collaborated? All three of these artists have created some of the most emotional, soul-searching and heart-rending music in recent memory. They each have unique voices and songwriting styles that run adjacent to each other.
Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker have stood out as three leading new voices in indie-rock over the past couple of years, and all that promise is melted together gorgeously on their new collaborative EP as boygenius. Each member has their moment to shine (Lucy helms the shimmering, foreboding 'Bite The Hand', while 'Me & My Dog' is Phoebe's heart-racing folk-rock stomp and Julien's voice is as soaring and affecting as ever on the emotional 'Stay Down') but it's when they come together on closer 'Ketchum, ID', an ode to the state of Idaho and the detachment of constant touring, that 'boygenius' really comes into its own and sees the project become more than the sum of its parts. .
Like a lot of good things, Boygenius started as an in-joke between friends. Occupying the same space in the musical spectrum Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus constantly found themselves sharing the same bills. Rather than see each other as rivals - as may have been the natural thing to do - the trio bonded over their shared experiences of being young, female and trying to make it in a largely male-dominated music industry.
Born out of chance encounters by three young musicians on uncommon but similar paths, indie supergroup Boygenius collects the talents of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus and results in an exciting and inspired chemistry. Already respectively successful when the idea to collaborate came up, each artist had fine-tuned her own distinctive approach to introspective and often sad-hearted songwriting. These variant approaches come to define the charm of Boygenius, as three unique voices rise up or blend into a singular force over the concise course of six songs, created in the studio in just four days.