Boygenius: The Record review – Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus blaze with feeling
“In another life we were arsonists,” goes a lyric on this first album from Boygenius, the supergroup consisting of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus – three of the most thoughtful, wry and quietly powerful indie-rock songwriters of the past decade. It’s a telling line for music that blazes with feeling, and is unabashed about drolly skewering and examining the male ego (see: songs about internalised notions of masculinity and lines such as “And I am not an old man having an existential crisis at a Buddhist monastery writing horny poetry” on a track called Leonard Cohen).
On the unassumingly titled The Record, this formidable trio of singer-storytellers complement one another with their often harrowing, diary-like candour. When their strikingly pure vocals combine in folky, elegiac harmony they are extraordinary, as on the opener, Without You Without Them, or in starker, lyrical moments , when they address love, friendship, philosophy, self-effacement.
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A recent Rolling Stone cover story was headed “Boygenius: The Supergroup We Need”. It feels valid: on The Record, Baker, Bridgers and Dacus pack layer upon layer into their sound, standing tall and exquisite.