The “Genius” of the Latest boygenius Album

Image courtesy of boygenius and Interscope Records

Image courtesy of boygenius and Interscope Records

Adeyla Hoenck

On March 31st the indie rock group, boygenius released their newest album the record. The group, named after the toxic presence of some men in the music industry, consists of three individually successful artists, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker. They initially grouped together in 2018 to release their first project, a self-titled EP. Since then the group has only made rare performances together and have all released individual projects.

That was until this year when the band announced the release on social media in mid-January of this year and simultaneously dropped three tracks from the album, “Emily I’m Sorry”,“True Blue”and“$20.”

The first of the three, “Emily I’m Sorry” is a slow song about personal problems affecting a romantic relationship. This theme of self-exploration and deep insecurities is present in many of the songs on the record, including the second track released, “True Blue.” This song is my favorite on the album. It includes a catchy chorus and beautiful lyrics, “But it feels good to be known so well, I can’t hide from you like I hide from myself.” This song is a perfect medley of personal exploration and love. The third song released during the announcement is another highlight on the record. One of my favorite things about this track is how it differs from the rest of the album and any previous work by boygenius. Contrary to the usual mellow tones and sad lyrics in previous work, “$20” features aggressive vocals and a classic rock beat, making it a fun and easy listen. 

Then on March 1st, the band released one more track before the album’s release at the end of the month. This song, “Not Strong Enough” is a catchy track containing an extremely memorable chorus and a perfect mesh of all three members’ voices. 

Because of how much I enjoyed the songs released from the album so far, it’s safe to say I had high hopes, and thankfully this album did not disappoint. Other than the initial four songs released, the highlight tracks for me were, “Cool About It” and “Letter To An Old Poet.” Track five, “Cool About It” is a song describing a painful relationship. “I can walk you home and practice method acting, I’ll pretend bein’ with you doesn’t feel like drowning.” Lyrics such as this make this song a direct contrast from the earlier track, “True Blue”a declaration of love and instead it is a wish for an escape. 

The final track on the album, “Letter To an Old Poet” is again, a song about relationship struggles and being unsure what to do. Something particularly interesting about this song is how it references previous work by the band. The song “Me and My Dog” (a song from the group’s first project) contains the lyrics, “I want to be annihilated…I wish I was on a spaceship, just me and my dog and an impossible view” “Letter To an Old Poet” references these lines with the same melody and a reference to the dog, “I want to be happy…I’ll go up to the top of our building and remember my dog when I see the full moon.” This reference was a very nice touch in the song which made it not even more meaningful but a hidden reference for fans. 

There were some songs I didn’t like as much as the others, namely “Without You Without Them” and “Leonard Cohen.” While I don’t hate these songs, they seemed less purposeful than the rest of the album. This could  however be because they both elapsed under a minute and a half and had specifically mellow tones and repetitive lyrics.

Overall, the record by boygenius is a fresh, new take on indie rock that explores many different topics that range from social norms to personal insecurity. If you are a fan of indie or rock music this is definitely worth a listen.