in Review

Boygenius – Boygenius EP

It’s hard to say if the inherent brevity of this EP is what makes it frustrating, or what makes it seem even better than if it was a full album. Because getting to hear Lucy Dacus, Julian Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers all singing and playing together on one compact release is kind of perfect in a way, if a little fleeting. With three performers like this, all formidable forces in their own right, you have to guess that this isn’t going to grow into a full-time gig for the three of them. That combined with the fact that Boygenius was seemingly recorded over the course of a week, makes it all the more confounding that they sound so darn comfortable playing with each other.

So, this makes it frustrating that we only get six tracks from this supergroup. But then again, who knows? These three songwriters are early enough in their careers that perhaps they’ll return to Boygenius again someday. Either way, it’s probably not fair that I’m just talking about “what could’ve been” when the fact that this EP exists in itself is enough cause for celebration. Because here you get all the best things about what makes these three songwriters so compelling in their solo work, and yet it feels more heightened and immediate than their own respective albums. Again, this might all be due to brevity.

Though at the same time, it can also be attributed to the sonic approach taken here. Julien Baker’s solo albums thus far have been very spare affairs, while Phoebe Bridgers’ debut from last year struck a similarly quiet, somber tone. So I suppose I’ll give credit to Lucy Dacus for giving the EP a more muscular, shimmering production to go along with the melancholy, which production-wise doesn’t sound unlike Dacus’s Historian from earlier this year. And more than anything, I think it’s just very affecting to hear all three of their crystal-clear voices together. To the extent that whether we hear them together again someday seems a little beside the point.

Favorite Tracks: “Bite The Hand”, “Me & My Dog”, “Salt In The Wound”