boygenius is a group that’s escaped definition time and time again. Composed of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, this trio is an indie fan’s fever dream, and one that constantly breaks and remolds the definition of a supergroup. With their upcoming album “the record” on its way, now’s best a time as ever to recognize the group’s importance and what exactly makes them work. 

Formed in 2018, boygenius came together on behalf of the astronomically chanced alignment between the three’s careers, values, and friendships. Initially joining together to produce their self-titled EP, “boygenius,” the project began with two working pieces from each artist. This became a melodic melting pot for the group, making space for their collaboration yet still allowing each individual to shine through. The EP is rich with stinging lyrics and a comforting sound, a combination of vocals and verse that struck a chord in audiences drawn to their hybridized style. Culminating in a nationwide tour and critical acclaim from groups such as Pitchfork and Metacritic, the team solidified their success in the eyes of the world… yet, that wasn’t their purpose. 

The magic of boygenius is an idea that draws back to the heart of the group, their “Avengers” level collaboration that allows their work to reach heights unachievable on an individual climb. Their success isn’t fronted by palpable ambitions or each member’s individual name-to-fame, but rather the group’s radiant adoration towards each other and their work. “There’s a realm in which I feel permitted to be ambitious in this band, in a way that I can’t for my own solo stuff, because it’s something shared with people that I love,” says Baker in a recent interview with The Rolling Stones, a testament to the trio’s foundation in friendship and a passion for music. 

All the same, boygenius has formed a subtle rebellion against the perception of women in music, one that’s boxed singers like Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus into the “sad girl starter pack” stereotype that’s run rampant in the minds of media and fans alike. Even their name plays off of the tropes of “[…] boys and men we know who’ve been told that they are geniuses since they could hear, basically,” as said by Lucy Dacus to the New York Times. boygenius subverts this societal obligation of female fronted groups to be seen for their gender rather than their work, and allows the three to produce music with the confidence expected of men in the industry. 

Now, following their appearance on the 2023 Coachella lineup and a very well timed social media blackout from all three members, boygenius is back and better than ever with a new sound, new brand, and a new record to share with the world. Released at the end of January, the group unveiled a teaser to their upcoming LP with a three song sampler, one that gracefully highlights each member while still retaining their perfectly mixed blend. In the time before “the record”, each artist has had ample time to develop their sound: Bridgers through the soft strums of “Punisher,” Baker with her heart-wrenching songs of “Little Oblivions,” and Dacus through the bittersweet nostalgia of “Home Video” and her recent singles. This growth is one clear to the elegant diversity of boygenius’ newest work, featuring more specialized sound and delicate motifs towards each artist’s previous music. 

“$20,” the lead track on the recent release, is a grunge-laced ode to sentimental rock and the “$20 and a souvenir” that we last caught on boygenius’ self-titled EP five years ago. The piece, led by Baker, gives light to burn-out, impulse, and escape, culminating in a screaming refrain akin to that of “Punisher”’s closing piece “I Know The End.” 

“I know you have twenty dollars,” Baker shouts as the chorus builds to a close, in contrast with the upcoming softness soon seen from “Emily I’m Sorry.” Stylistically, this next piece is one which reflects the gentle flow seen through much of Bridger’s work, only further emphasized through her glossy vocals and melancholic lyrics. Emily, forgive me, can we / Make it up as we go along?” she pleads in soft harmony with Baker and Dacus by her side, paying homage to past memories and a love lost to time. Closing out the trio, Dacus gives reference to themes from “Home Video” in the bittersweet love-story seen in “True Blue.” The piece makes its way through wistful memories on a shoegaze-smooth backing track, closing with a final reflection of what makes her lover so tough, tried, and of course, true blue. 

As a group, boygenius and its members are forever in evolution. Their organic sound only grows with each song, session, and collaboration — and one that makes a listener eager to see where they go next. As each member leaps forward to new heights in their careers, relationships, and stages in life, they remind us that the most important aspect in pursuing our passions is finding the right people to do it with, and that creation is best complemented by a strong community.

Keep an eye and ear out for boygenius’ “the record coming out March 31, releasing wherever you listen to music. 

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