Review: Boygenius, “The Record”

by Kyle Werner, Feature Editor

2023 is off to quite the start, at least in the name of indie music. 2018 was the last time the iconic trio of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers got together and released an EP under the name Boygenius. Since the album’s release, they’ve been staples in indie music. Or, as Rolling Stone has dubbed them, “the supergroup we need.” 

They hadn’t released anything together, as Boygenius, since 2018, but had released individual albums. Baker released “Little Oblivions” in 2021, Dacus released “Home Videos” in 2021, and Bridgers released “Punisher” in 2020. Each gaining its own acclaim in the indie industry. It had been five years since Boygenius released the EP.

Then came 2023. 

Boygenius had been rumored to release another album in late 2022, with circulating pictures of a photoshoot. Speculation arose; would the juggernaut group release another album? 

Short answer? Yes. 

Long answer? On Jan. 18, the group released three singles from their yet-to-be-released album “The Record.” Those singles include “$20,” “Emily I’m Sorry,” and “True Blue.” This included a limited pressing vinyl release (of course, I bought one) and a myriad of shirts that included brand-new designs. 

What’s unique about these three singles being released is that they were each written individually, not with each other as the EP had been. 

Baker’s “$20” outlines the dismay of compulsory self-ruin, much like her other songs. In this case, she has nothing but an empty wallet as she drives tirelessly through Reno on a motorcycle. Unique to Baker, the melody is chopped up and dissected into the rawest form the song can take, and the levels of sleep-deprived hysteria are clearly embossed. The song ends with complete and utter silence. 

Bridger’s “Emily I’m Sorry” tells the timeless tale of blinding love. It makes you lose yourself, and it makes you spiral and not realize the reality that’s right in front of you. The song fills the particularly melancholy outlook that Bridger’s songs usually abide by, taking a sharp turn when the reality is hit. In a sense, it hits the rumors of her relationship with Irish actor Paul Mescal: spiraling. Not that I’m manifesting the breaking off of their engagement, but it sure does paint the picture in the most Bridger’s way possible. 

Dacus’ “True Blue” is pretty juxtaposing of the two prior songs. It doesn’t foretell self-ruin, nor does it paint the picture of blinding love. Rather, Dacus shows the vulnerability of what it means to love. You might’ve heard the term “a true blue friend,” but if you haven’t, it means complete loyalty. In the hands of a true blue friend, you’re safe. Dacus shows how it’s painful to be vulnerable with even those you love, but it’s worth it, singing that “it feels good to be known so well.” This sums up the way that vulnerability in the right place can lead to something worthwhile, something that makes you feel worth it. 

Each song is undeniably a new staple not only in my playlists but in millions across the globe that have also fallen to the clutches of the supergroup that is Boygenius. 

It won’t be until March 31 that the full album will be released, but the trio has shown themselves to have another go at destroying the hearts of fans in the most indie way possible. 

Until then, I’ll just have to continue listening to the three singles, which doesn’t seem like too bad of a tradeoff to me.