Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus | photo by Lera Pentelute | courtesy of the artists
Hear Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus in supergroup form on the boygenius EP
After generating two months’ worth of buzz following the announcement of their new project boygenius, the three artists behind the supergroup have released their self-titled debut EP two weeks early. The collaborators, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, formed a fast friendship when they crossed paths while touring behind their individual solo material. When the trio of singer-songwriters finally booked a tour together, the idea to collaborate took form, and the result, a six-track EP under the name boygenius, is out today digitally.
The three musicians’ similarities run deep: they’re all young, rising stars in the indie rock world, and the style and tone of their music has often been compared. Upon meeting, they quickly bonded over the common experiences they’ve shared as touring musicians in the same demographic — especially the frequent frustration of being not only the youngest person in the room, but the only woman, too. In recent interviews with Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, Baker, Bridgers and Dacus have spoken to the empowering creative environment and general confidence boost that comes from working with each other as mutually supportive collaborators. Though conflicting touring schedules often keep them from all being in the same place, they set aside four days in June to record the boygenius EP; each artist brought one fully-formed song and one incomplete idea to the session, and the collaboration took off from there.
We’ve previously heard three tracks off the EP, “Me & My Dog,” “Bite The Hand” and “Stay Down,” which were released as singles in August. Those were the more fully-formed songs, and the ones in which each artists’ distinct style comes through most clearly, each taking lead vocals on one while the others provide soft but potent harmonies. The three new ones involved the most collaboration and co-writing, and also show how the three musicians have influenced each other in the process; there are moments on “Souvenir” and “Salt In The Wound” that, if you’re not listening closely, you may lose track of which vocalist is singing. The EP ends on a collective reflective note, with the harmony-heavy “Ketchum ID,” which is performed nearly a cappella with just the faintest acoustic guitar in the background. Though it started as Bridgers’ idea, its thematic focus on the strain and loneliness of touring life resonated with the others, who each contributed verses: “Let’s dissolve the band, move to Idaho,” Dacus sings, a pipe dream of a less demanding lifestyle.
Since boygenius’s upcoming November tour predates the group itself, the three musicians are billed by their individual names, with Baker and Bridgers co-headlining and Dacus opening, though they’ll play songs together in addition to solo material. There’s unfortunately no Philly date on the schedule, and the two nearest shows, in Brooklyn, are sold out. Boygenius will make its television debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Nov. 5, and the EP comes out physically via Matador Records on Nov. 9. Stream it below via Spotify.
Julien Baker / Phoebe Bridgers / Lucy Dacus tour dates
11/4 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
11/6 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
11/7 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
11/8 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
11/10 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
11/11 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
11/12 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
11/13 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
11/15 – St Louis, MO – The Pageant
11/16 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee
11/17 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
11/19 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
11/20 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
11/23 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
11/24 – Seattle, WA – The Moore Theatre
11/25 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
11/27 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
11/29 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
11/30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern