Track Attack: boygenius – ‘Bite the Hand’, ‘Me & My Dog’, & ‘Stay Down’
Posted: by The Editor
The explosive arrival of boygenius, comprised of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus is so much more than three singles and an EP announcement. As solo artists they’ve all been able to stand out from their peers, slowly cementing their places in the pantheon of indie rock. Turn Out The Lights, Baker’s sophomore LP, was a deep emotional dive into Baker’s identity, amplified by strings, piano, and haunting vocals. That album, which was released a mere ten months ago, instantly captivated so many ears across the scene and topped countless AOTY lists. Stranger in the Alps, Bridgers’ debut album, explores a variety of folk influences mixed with rock as Bridgers captures fragility. Calming melodies and vivid lyricism stand out the most on Stranger in the Alps, which sets itself apart from other folk-rock takes because of the layering and regalia to the albums instrumentation. Dacus’ Historian, which hit the frequencies earlier this year, was another welcome addition of beautiful writing to the helm of rock. Dacus views Historian as the definitive album for herself as a musician and after listening, you can feel the emotion coming through as the electric guitars pulse. So, three definitive albums, three definitive performers. Does boygenius live up to the hype?
Let’s start with “Bite the Hand,” which is led by Dacus. Those same electric guitars that powered through Historian come alive here, building up to the repeated hook “I can’t love you how you want me to”. Near the end of the track all three voices sit in perfect harmony, eventually going acapella. ”Bite the Hand” solidified for me that this EP is going to blow the lid off of alternative music.
Bridgers leads “Me & My Dog,” a song depicting heartbreak in her signature folk style. When Dacus and Baker join in, the impact of their voices is secure in its own intensity. That support is evident not only in their music, but also in their bond as collaborators and friends.
You’ve guessed it, “Stay Down” starts with Baker. Heartbreak is also tackled here but in a different way. Baker’s vocals are mature, with the strings and piano following suit. I enjoy “Stay Down” because the influence of Bridgers and Dacus, while not vocally, is so clear instrumentally. The hint of folk across the slow ballad combined with the energy of rock perfectly compliment each other.
The name boygenius carries so much importance and irony. It’s a clear dig at the sexism in music; how women are often not taken seriously creatively because they aren’t men. Highlighting this issue in the scene is something I love and support. The message is so blatantly clear: here are three individually creative and talented women who came together to produce something that is no doubt fantastic. They’re holding their own and kicking ass at it. Without dudes and their “genius,” because that’s a thing that’s possible.
Oh, and the tour is going to be sick. Their self-titled EP drops 10/9 via Matador Records.
Kayla Carmichael // @kaylacarmicheal
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