The Strength of Friendship and Ties That Last a Lifetime


Image Courtesy of Trisha Yun’24

Design and graphics by Trisha Yun ’24

As indie-rock supergroup boygenius, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus joined forces to create a glowing, earnest album as follow-up to their 2018 self-titled EP. In January, after each artists’ solo album cycles ended, they revealed that they had been working together to craft the record. As Bridgers recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone, “It was not like falling in love. It was falling in love.” In true boygenius fashion, the album consists of tracks conceived by each individual artist and crafted with care by all band members.

With the announcement of the record, three singles were released before the album. Baker’s influence is clearest on the first, “$20.” The track is a headbanger about impulsivity featuring a changing time signature and Bridgers’s screaming. The powerful guitar riffs and layered vocals escalate into an intense, burning outro.

The next single, “Emily I’m Sorry,” was created from one of Bridgers’ original demos. Featuring ethereal backing vocals from Baker and Dacus, the track is written as an apology to one of Bridger’s past partners. Listeners plunge into a dark atmosphere as the instrumentals deepen and expand.

“True Blue,” the third single, possibly sounds the most Lucy-Dacus-esque that a song can get. As an ode to boygenius’ friendship, the track describes the comfort and trust between close friends. Amidst soft rock instrumentals and backing vocals from the other band members, Dacus sings one of my favorite lines from the record: “I can’t hide from you like I hide from myself.” 

After the initial three singles, “Not Strong Enough” was released along with a self-recorded music video. The track is the centerpoint of the album, triumphantly displaying each artist’s strengths and their strong teamwork. Each verse is marked by one member, while a golden thread simultaneously ties the song together. The track shines with soaring guitar melodies and steady drums. The repetition of “always an angel, never a god,” in the bridge builds up to a sunburst of emotion: the feeling of light on your face, wind in your hair, and being absolutely invincible.

The last track, “Letter To An Old Poet,” is a sequel to “Me & My Dog,” a song on the original boygenius EP. The crowd’s cheers after a 2018 performance of “Me & My Dog” at Brooklyn Steel were woven into the track, as well as an interpolation of the song’s melody. During the most heartbreaking moment of the album, Bridgers, framed by Baker’s and Dacus’ vocals, whispers “I wanna be happy, I’m ready to walk into my room without looking for you. I’ll go up to the top of our building and remember my dog when I see the full moon. I can’t feel it yet, but I am waiting.” For those that bought the record on vinyl, there is a locked groove which keeps the song on the word “waiting,” echoing onto infinity.

the record is the album of a lifetime. The familiar voices of Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus blend together in brilliant constellations. They chart the stars and part the seas, holding onto each other the entire way. There is nothing like the bond they share, which makes their music even more special. It’s hard to imagine a world without boygenius. 


Rating: 11/10

Favorite: Not Strong Enough

Recommendations: Listen to the EP in its entirety. Then listen to the record in order from start to finish.