Indie rockers Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker have made their breakthrough into the world of indie music with each of their debuts. Now, the young singers join forces to deliver boygenius, a 6-track EP showcasing what the three have become known for: slowcore indie rock. Some of the songs have the verses sung by one of the women, with the other two chiming along to deliver the chorus. The trio each have their moments on the mic, but it’s times like vocal synchronizations on the chorus of “Bite the Hand” and “Salt On the Wound” that make boygenius special.
Dacus handles the wheel on the first song, “Bite the Hand”. Closing out with a succession of each announcing “I can’t love you how you want me to” is one of the many bits where the presence of all of their vocals produce a pleasing sound. Despite being a typical song of hopeless love, the mood-setting background guitar hammer down the downbeat world of their songwriting.
Bridgers follows up this heartbroken theme on “Me & My Dog”, but the three really put their minds together on “Souvenir”. Each drop a short but smart verse with another easing acoustic riff. The guitar riffs across the playlist are enough to assist the vocals, and they never overstay their welcome. Baker’s go brilliantly mashes biblical imagery and video games in true sadcore fashion with “Stay Down”. The three share the spotlight on many of the other songs, but Baker becomes the star here thanks to the sharp lyric writing.
The collaboration contains some smart words here and there, but the tracks often don’t reach a peak. There could’ve been more melancholy storytelling like what Bridgers did on her own hit “Funeral”. Instead, much of it doesn’t go beyond the breakup mold. However, their voices and styles merge seamlessly, backing up their label as a “supergroup”.
The boygenius collab may not be for everyone, but the 1-2-3 punch of Bridgers, Dacus, and Baker make the EP an absolute wet dream for fans of soft indie rock.
SCAD Radio gives it a 7.9/10.