Published Nov 07, 2018Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus work in distinct yet adjacent realms of folk and rock, so their collaborative debut as boygenius is understandable yet refreshing. All three have fully realized albums under their belts, and boygenius allows them to flex their considerable muscles, showcasing their ample strengths and veering into new experiments in equal measure.
Lyrically, all three mine traditionally sombre territory in their solo work, tying into broader cultural conversations regarding gender and mental health, and the words of boygenius maintain the same power and urgency. Baker's declarations of being "in the back seat of her body" are made all the more impactful by the rush of keys in the background, while Bridgers' escapist fantasies on "Me & My Dog" are given a folk-rock wistfulness.
Dacus, the most rock-leaning of the three, helps propel her folkier bandmates to arena-rocking heights, most notably on highlight "Salt in the Wound," which ends with an atmospheric guitar solo courtesy of Baker, straying far from her pastoral folk roots.
On the EP's cover, the trio evoke the poses of Crosby, Stills & Nash from their 1969 self-titled debut, and with the atmospheric and lyrical beauty conveyed on this release, it's easy to imagine that they'll be spoken of in similarly storied breath decades down the line. (Matador)