The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

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The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Boygenius Releases New Chapter to Previous Record

The indie supergroup’s new four-track EP is not just leftover songs, but an existential story that stands alone
Each member of boygenius — Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker — came together to create the unique, extraterrestrial sound of their latest EP.

Breakout indie trio  boygenius released their four-track EP, “the rest,” on Oct. 13, six months following the release of the band’s first full-length album, “the record.” The EP writes a new chapter of their latest studio release and tells a story separate from the album, containing themes of the universe, relationships and self-identity. 

The supergroup — a musical group of members who already have successful careers as solo artists — consists of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker. When the three friends merged to form boygenius, their talents complimented each other and created a truly unique sound. 

“Black Hole” is the opening track of “the rest” and introduces listeners to the extraterrestrial motif that is scattered throughout the EP. The song features all three of the band members and begins with a quiet solo from Baker backed with instrumentals from the piano. It then gradually builds into a more intense harmony, bringing in Dacus and Bridgers. 

The opening lyrics of “Black Hole” describe an individual smoking a cigarette while looking up to the sky and seeing the stars. In that moment, this individual realizes how small they truly are, and the relationship between how large the universe is and how mundane humans are serves as a theme throughout the song. 

The song fluidly merges into the second track featured on the record, “Afraid of Heights,” mainly sung by Dacus. Showing off her rich and honeyed voice, the track personifies Dacus’ internal conflict of not wanting to risk the life she is grateful to have been given for short-term thrills, while also acknowledging that the future is uncertain and fragile. 

“Afraid of Heights” chronicles a cautious individual’s relationship with a friend who’s more willing to take risks, opening with them watching their friend jump off a cliff: “I got the point you were makin’, when I held my breath ’til you came up.” As they both are holding their breath, the narrator realizes that the two are similar, even though only one of them took a life-threatening risk. 

The lyrics transition toward the end of “Afraid of Heights,” as the story flips to show an aspect of  the more adventurous person’s character: “You called me a crybaby, but you’re the one who got teary.”

The ostensibly confident person reveals themself to also be someone who is afraid of the uncertainty and entropy of life. The song further implements the theme of how large the universe is and how different people are figuring out how to navigate it.

Bridgers leads the third song on the tracklist, “Voyager.” The song documents one’s feelings of confusion and loneliness that follow the end of a chaotic relationship. The lyrics carry Bridgers’ feathery and haunting voice beautifully, creating an eerie, echoey sound. The vocals contrast Bridgers’ work on “the record” and are more reminiscent of her solo career. 

Utilizing extraterrestrial imagery to convey the experience from a relationship, Bridgers notes that in the aftermath of a tumultuous relationship and break up, the narrator feels as if they are “a man on the moon,” thousands of miles away from the earth and her life. 

“Voyager” continues with the lyrics: “I never imagined a dot quite as pale or as blue, you took it from me but I would’ve given it to you,” referencing the photo taken of Earth from the space probe, six million kilometers away. The relationship, despite once being thought of as the whole world, is now seen as a small pale blue dot, unreachable and distant. 

Fans of Bridgers often compare the singer to the moon, a reflection of her own deployment of its celestial imagery. In “Moon Song,” a track from her second studio album, “Punisher,” Bridgers writes “If I could give you the moon, I would give you the moon.”

On the fourth and final song from the EP, “powers,” Baker leads listeners through an existential line of questioning relating to one’s “origin story,” employing other comic book tropes along the way. There is an extremely raw aspect to this track, due to the simple sounds and Baker’s deep breath that can be heard before she begins to sing. 

In the EP’s last track, Baker uses her husky tone to relate to comic book characters and their origin stories, asking “How did it start? Did I fall into a nuclear reactor, crawl out with acid skin?” The questions she raises are relatable to many fans, and this connection is something that is prominent in many of her other solo songs. The EP ends with an echoey trumpet solo in “powers,” which puts an end to the chapter that is “the rest.” 

The supergroup’s latest release is an incredible testament to their talent. Although the artists are able to share their individual messages, each of their stories melt together to create new meanings.

The lyrics in “the rest” are heartbreaking and emotional, which is nothing new for boygenius. Each of their voices compliment one another, and with the release of the eerie, extraterrestrial and existential EP, they cement themselves as masterminds of indie music.

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CASEY SHARGEL, Contributing Writer

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