“Boygenius” by Boygenius
By Dylan Falk
I didn’t listen to Julien Baker this summer. A simple phrase, yet to me a powerful one. For me, the end of the spring was marred by an ending of a relationship following seeing Julien, one of my favorite shows of the year. At the time, it felt like these two things were connected, and I would never escape the sadness that listening to Julien’s music brought me. Of course, her music is already what one would call sad music, but it had never instilled a true sadness in me. Now it had. So there I was this summer, refusing to listen to who is arguably one of my favorite artists. And then in August Boygenius was announced, a collaborative effort from Julien, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus.
these three combining to create an EP was something even my crazy mind couldn’t have drawn up
Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus have also released two of the best singer-songwriter albums in the last year and a half. Along with Julien Baker, these three combining to create an EP was something even my crazy mind couldn’t have drawn up. Despite my excitement for this release, I refused to listen the singles at first. Three beautiful songs, “Me and My Dog,” “Stay Down,” and “Bite the Hand,” that I totally refused to listen to for a month. But when I did, I was blown away. “Me and My Dog” is probably my favorite song of the year. Written by Phoebe, it follows the ending of her own relationship. At one point in the song she even mentions how she cannot listen to a certain song without thinking of them. And that just blew me away. It connected with me so well, and yes, hearing Julien’s voice on that track, and on all the others made me think of those last days of spring, and of her—but only for some time. This music is the best thing that “sad” music can be: cathartic. These songs helped me realize I wasn’t alone in my feelings. After continued listens to these three songs they’ve slowly lost any connection to anyone but me and the artists.
This music is the best thing that “sad” music can be: cathartic
So that happened months before the actual EP came out. And then it came out, and all six songs were beautiful. The thing that surprised me most about the EP as a whole is just how well these three play off of each other’s strengths: Lucy rocks out a lot more in her own music; Phoebe has the best voice and storytelling ability of the three; Julien’s descriptive and sometimes truly upsetting lyrics and use of quietness are her best qualities. All of these characteristics come out on most of the songs here. “Bite the Hand” and “Salt in the Wound” almost sound like classic Lucy Dacus songs, but with both Julien and Phoebe singing over them creating some amazing melodies. “Ketchum, ID” makes use of the quiet that is normally encompassing of Julien’s work, but tells a story of moving to Idaho that would fit more on Stranger in the Alps. Overall, the EP is just 6 nearly perfect songs, and I cannot get enough of it.
So yeah, this EP is really important to me. It helped me through a tough time this semester, and I expect it to help me further into the future. Sad music should not make you feel sad, it should be there for you when you are sad, and Boygenius—thanks for being there.
Edited by Nick Jacobyansky
You can listen to “Boygenius” below: