Reissued 8/12/2022, Originally released 11/9/18
Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus formed Boygenius after booking a tour together, but the trio had subconsciously been in the works for longer than that. Through a series of tours and performances and chance encounters that led to friendships - including Bridgers' and Dacus' first in-person meeting backstage at a Philadelphia festival, greenroom hangouts that felt instantly comfortable, and a couple of long email chains - the lyrically and musically arresting singer-songwriters and kindred spirits got to know each other on their own terms. With gut-wrenchingly personal yet easily relatable verses and spare, lilting melodic arrangements, all three are leading a new rock vanguard that values unflinching self-awareness and unassailable songcraft. Baker's slow builds and taut vocals add urgency to "Souvenir" and "Stay Down," while album opener "Bite the Hand" roils with slow-burning layers of guitar as Dacus stands in her devastating truth: "I can't love you like you want me to." The Bridgers-architected "Me & My Dog" chugs into view with a deceptively simple open-road riff and Bridgers' insistent recounting of a relationship that couldn't help but fall apart.