The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

“the rest” provides a promising look into boygenius’ musical future

MJ White

Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus combine to make an incredible trio that captures love, loss and the human experience in their band boygenius. Through the relatable songwriting and soft vocals, the new EP, “the rest,” shows off their versatility as well. 

This is the band’s second EP, their first was aptly titled “boygenius” and came out in 2018. They also had a small fall tour, beginning on September 25 in Boston and ending at the Hollywood Bowl on Halloween. 

The album cover shows the trio on a beach, backlit by the sunset or sunrise, and the dark blue water and sand. 

After my first listen to the EP, the songs that stood out to me the most were “Afraid of Heights,” and “Powers.” They both have extremely strong lyricism and themes of relationships, and the singers harmonize together perfectly. A lot of their music focuses on relatable experiences that come with growing up and being raised in our society. 

This is different from songs off their 2023 album “the record.” “Not Strong Enough” and “Emily I’m Sorry” have distinct choruses and follow the regular song structure so I was surprised that every song on the EP differed with their non-linear arrangement. 

The songs all have a theme of existentialism, along with thoughts surrounding life and death, contrasting with the love stories told in others. In the song “Afraid of Heights,” the lyrics read “I wanna live a vibrant life but I wanna die a boring death” and “Oh, it hurts to hope the future will be better than before.” 

“Black Hole” and “Voyager” did not stand out to me as much as the other two and because they follow the same writing structure, they sounded similar to me. They didn’t sound like something I had never heard from them, but they may grow on me with time, who knows. However the lyrics on “Voyager” stood out. With lyrics like “walking alone in the city,” I found myself relating to it as a freshman in a new city. The song also talks about a toxic relationship earlier, saying “There are days tangled up together and sometimes, you let me read your mind/Then there are nights you say you don’t remember when you stepped on the gas and you asked if I’m ready to die.” 

Standing out from other titles was “Powers,” lasting four minutes. Four minutes is double the time of any other on the EP, so I knew there was going to be something different and special about it. Immediately, you can tell a change from the others as it starts off fast with a simple guitar in the back. The background stays like that until 2:56 when the singing stops completely. It took me off guard when first listening because the song has such a constant beat and then it just halts. 

For the rest of the song, the guitar fades out and horns start playing a jazz melody that is slow and calming. It feels like wandering a city at night with street musicians in the background. The lyrics speak of rockets, space and the big bang, with a more urgent feel, singing There’s no object to be seen in the supercollider, just a light in the tunnel and whatever gets scattered.” This song stands alone, separating itself from the others because of its unique sound. It is the exception of the four, showing the band’s versatility. 

“Black Hole,” “Afraid of Heights,” “Voyager” and “Powers” are different from boygenius’ other work. This EP shows their improvement, making their music future bright.

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