- 27 Mar 23
Splendid debut from indie supergroup
the record opener ‘Without You Without Them’ transforms the boygenius listener into eavesdropper of an intimate triple part harmony, one that boasts a Carter family vibe. Pretty special when you consider that the indie supergroup consists of serial Grammy nominee Phoebe Bridgers; the critically acclaimed Julien Baker; and fellow Matador alumnus Lucy Dacus.
On the front of the February issue of Rolling Stone, boygenius donned pinstripe suits and recreated Nirvana’s iconic 1994 cover. It’s a homage that holds water, for the record is an album, which among other things, grapples with that most achingly mercurial of matter – the American teenager.
Nirvana obsessed over similar affairs; however, boygenius’ version is more tempered, more Snow Patrol. On college rock banger ‘$20’, they deliver a slab of Springsteen tropes – all night motorcycle rides to Reno, T-bird graveyards, Chevvies on cinder blocks – across not one but several sick riffs. Headbanging delirium continues on The Replacements-nodding, hilariously self-deprecating ‘Satanist’: scoring offbrand ecstasy, tagging ATMs, chucking out the TV – reliable archetypes of teenage rebellion.
Across the ‘90s retro, lo-fi feel of ‘Emily I’m Sorry’ and the crisscrossing Kerouac-indebted ‘True Blue’, boygenius ensnare the joy of wasteful detours. They also alluringly capture fleeting celestial moments such as on ‘Leonard Cohen’, while driving the wrong way on the interstate listening to Iron & Wine, reckoning on lost wandering being loaded with purpose.
Elsewhere, ‘Not Strong Enough’ conjures the US suburbs, complete with freeway escapes and the hypnotic mantra: “Always an angel, never a god”.
the record is out on Friday, March 31.