What happens when three of the most talented, fresh-faced voices in indie rock decide to join forces? Boygenius happens. A collaboration between prolific indie women Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, boygenius is the product of friendships developed through performances and chance encounters alike.
On the group’s eponymous EP, the distinct styles of all three artists make appearances, creating a sound that’s as innovative as it is pleasantly familiar. What really sets boygenius apart, however, is the combination of three very different but incredibly compatible voices. Baker’s voice is soulful, with a quiet undercurrent of power; Bridgers has a more ethereal, sweet tone; Dacus’s lower, grittier timbre rounds out the trio. Along with powerhouse vocals and instrumentals, the lyrics of all six tracks are as bittersweet and moving as one might expect from these artists.
The song “Ketchum, ID,” arguably the best track on the EP, details the struggles of being a young artist constantly on the road, an experience all members of the group comprehend intimately. The chorus features the aching lines, “I am never anywhere, anywhere I go / When I’m home I’m never there long enough to know.” This track is more stripped-back than the others, allowing the voice of each singer to shine through both individually in the verses and in the haunting harmonies of the choruses.
Though perhaps a fleeting side-project, boygenius is by far one of the most well-received (and well-produced) musical endeavors of 2018.
Recommended If You Like: Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail, Big Thief
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Bite the Hand), 2 (Me & My Dog), 3, (Souvenir), 4 (Stay Down), 5 (Salt In The Wound), 6 (Ketchum, ID)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Jaya Chakka on 12/02/2018