‘The record’ is a stellar, endearing experience

Boygenius release their debut album five years after intial EP

Mason Hickok, Editor-in-Chief

The three-piece supergroup boygenius deliver a stellar, endearing listening experience on “the record.” The 12-track debut comes after the trio’s self-titled EP was released in 2018. Comprised of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, boygenius has garnered a devoted fan base — a sort of amalgam of their solo careers. This album spans the roots of folk and indie rock, and boygenius charts a journey of intimacy and friendship. 

On “the record,” the band starts an inward journey from the first track, “Without You Without Them.” Citing personal histories and the interest of those who came before, the track features the band’s signature three-part harmony, a theme throughout most of the album. 

While “the record” is undoubtedly an exploration of evolved songwriting and production, it also shows glimpses of tender restraint. Songs such as“Revolution 0” and “We’re In Love” feature Bridgers and Dacus, respectively, channeling this restraint. “Revolution 0,” again, employs the band’s three-part harmony. One of my favorite moments on “the record” comes about two-and-a-half minutes into the track, where the trio trades off on spontaneous beats, with each one falling more and more dissonant behind the other. 

A beautiful thing about the group’s work is the tendency to let one songwriter lead part of a song, then use the subsequent voices to intertwine and uplift the vocals; the band is actively lifting each other. This is felt on the album’s most indie-rock-friendly track, the road-trip-inspired “Not Strong Enough,” which starts with a crisp acoustic guitar that breaks into the guitar riff and drumbeat. Dacus’ vocals shine over one of the album’s singles, “True Blue,” which has some of the strongest production for me. 

“Letter To An Old Poet” closes the album on a familiar note, adding the melody from “Me & My Dog” off their 2018 EP. The track features swelling strings and a constant piano.

Overall, “the record” is a beautiful trip with a group of close-knit friends; their unity and trust are felt. The full-length debut is a strong five stars. With a sprinkle of familiarity, boygenius is paving the way in genuine and raw music.

You can find “the record” available for streaming. In addition, “Boygenius – the film” is also available on YouTube. Their tour dates are available on their website.