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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Boygenius breaks hearts with breathtaking new album

WFUV Public Radio via Flickr

“The record” is a feel-all-the-feelings type of album, one to scream to, cry to and reminisce to. In their first LP, Boygenius returned for the first time since 2018 with a bang. They put it all out on the table for avid fans, and there is no denying that this album contains some truly profound music. 

Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers, the masterminds behind the art, have all navigated the rise to fame in the indie realm within the last decade or so. The trio are each known on their own for hard-hitting lyricism, and together, this shines through. The group explores their distinct talents, melding them to create music that transcends its genre. 

The album begins with “Without You Without Them,” and listeners immediately hear the seamless blend of three unique voices. As the first piece blends into the second, “$20,” Baker leads the force, but fans are reminded of the one-of-a-kind blend of the trio’s sound. The piece showcases the vocal talent of the group, with Bridgers belting lyrics in the outro. 

“Emily I’m Sorry” is an ode to a past love, almost painfully sad in the way it describes losing yourself to become what someone else wants. It’s immediately followed by “True Blue,” a scream-out-the-window song for a summer night, which so eloquently highlights the fine line between comfort and risk in being known so well by someone. As Dacus sings, “you already hurt my feelings three times in the way that only you could,” she flawlessly portrays the risk of vulnerability. 

“Cool About It” and “Not Strong Enough” are two clearly collaborative efforts where we see not only how talented the individuals of the group are, but how well their strengths mesh with one another. In “Cool About It,” the trio geniusly pays tribute to each of their solo records. Baker wishes for the subject to be “cruel about it,” a call to her “Song in E,” Dacus prepares for absolution, perhaps a “Night Shift” reference and Bridgers walks the subject home, reminiscent of “Moon Song.” 

In “Leonard Cohen,” the lyrics are beautiful, and at times, effortlessly hilarious. In a Rolling Stone interview, the trio described the circumstances under which “Leonard Cohen” was born: Bridgers driving unknowingly in the wrong direction, as Baker and Dacus just let her, for the sake of finishing the song she put on in the car. I like to think of this piece as a tribute to platonic love. 

In “Anti-Curse,” Baker takes the lead in telling the story of a hilarious yet equally frightening beach experience in Malibu. She told the story behind the piece to Rolling Stone, but as a whole, the song is really telling of Baker’s ability to take an experience and turn it into a piece of art. 

“Letter To An Old Poet” is perhaps the most emotionally grueling song of the album. The callback to “Me and My Dog,” a Boygenius song released in 2018, exudes progress, and it’s hard not to tear up at the bridge of this piece. The lyricism is brilliant, as can be expected with these three. Hearing this song for the first time felt like the first day of spring after a long winter. 

Overall, “the record” exceeded my already-high expectations. The trio gave each other space to explore their own strengths, and these strengths complemented one another in a way I don’t think I have ever seen in music. The work put into creating this album shines through, and it’s truly refreshing to see a group so passionate about creating and collaborating.

Follow Grace on Twitter @EGraceDreher

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About the Contributor
Grace Dreher, Copy Editor | she/her
Grace is a senior journalism major with a print/web concentration from Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey. When she isn’t writing, you can find her exploring Boston or listening to music. Grace is also very passionate about politics and after college she hopes to work as a journalist and travel. Follow Grace on X @egracedreher

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Boygenius breaks hearts with breathtaking new album