ALBUM REVIEW: boygenius – the record


How often can it be said when speaking of supergroups that its individual members are at the peak of their powers? The only reason it perhaps cannot be said of the members of boygenius is simply that it feels like the trio is on the ascent if anything. 


Comprised of singer-songwriters Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker (all of whom are following critically acclaimed and fantastic albums in the last couple of years), boygenius is a genuine kinship of admiration and love amongst its members which first revealed itself as a collective with the self-titled EP in 2018. Five years on and with individual releases in that time, the record (Interscope Records) is the collective’s first full-length release and a wonderful display for them individually and collectively.


Throughout the album, all three members showcase their unique songwriting and singing styles prominently. Amongst the three of them, the album shows a wide palette of emotions and tones from tenderness to rebellion, from anxiety and fear to sarcastic humour, all the while feeling entirely sincere and ultimately relatable. 


The album opener ‘Without You Without Them’ is an acapella performance with the trio harmonising vocals throughout and is a joyful and thankful piece directed to loved ones. The following ‘$20’ (led by Julien Baker) in comparison is more up-tempo and conveys a youthful, near-punk angst, accompanied by some wails which harken back to Baker’s Hardcore background. 


This in turn transitions to the Phoebe Bridgers-led, apologetic ‘Emily I’m Sorry’ replete with floaty vocals and hazy, melancholic instrumentation. Ultimately, the record regularly comprises emotional hardship, but is accompanied by hopefulness and even growth, for example on the Lucy Dacus-led journey of separation and possibly forgiveness of ‘True Blue’ and the tear-jerking ‘Not Strong Enough’ which brings summer-ready danceability with resonant lyrics of self-doubt and not feeling good enough for someone. 



Life is an abundance of struggle, and it doesn’t take paying attention to current affairs for long for the sense of dread to sink in. Both boygenius and subsequently the record are acutely aware of this and the results are poignant and incredibly relatable. Across its run time it conveys this sense of apprehension and simply coping, but with enough beauty and humour in tandem to bring that sense of hope and drive to continue; and at times like these maybe that is what is often needed the most.


Buy the album here:


8 / 10