boygenius Bring Out the Best in Each Other on 'the record'

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 31, 2023

boygenius were borne of happenstance. And an email book club, but mostly happenstance. Nonetheless, it feels like Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus — three of the most compelling indie rock songwriters of their generation — were made to make music together.

At long last, their debut collaborative LP the record is here via Interscope. From parodying a classic Crosby, Stills & Nash portrait for their 2018 debut EP boygenius to recently recreating Nirvana's iconic Rolling Stone cover, the trio have always worn their influences (and contempt for the correspondence of genre and gender) on their sleeves.

But this album artwork — their outstretched hands facing skyward like a fresco painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, not unlike Pearl Jam's Ten — is a representation of how they've amalgamated their respective artistic voices into an entirely new beast. Co-produced by Baker, Bridgers, Dacus and Catherine Marks, the record was recorded at Rick Rubin's Shangri-La in Malibu last January.

Unlike the songs on the EP, the boys were actually able to write together this time around. And even when they weren't writing together, they were writing together, as evidenced by the road trip that inspired tender album centrepiece "Leonard Cohen": Bridgers was so intent on playing Iron & Wine's "The Trapeze Singer" for Baker and Dacus that she ended up driving in the wrong direction in the interstate and adding a full hour to their travel time.

The three singer-songwriters bring out the best in each other — not only musically, but in their respective personal growth. It's a friendship that truly allows each individual to be seen. Together, they harness that power to extend their hands to invite us in, too.

Listen to the record below.


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