Boygenius: the band in full control of your emotions. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus formed the supergroup only five years ago in 2018, and have been storming their way to the top of the indie-rock scene ever since.

Their first EP, ‘boygenius’, released when the group first formed, blessing us with the masterpieces that are ‘Me & My Dog’ and ‘Souvenir’, as well as four other solemn songs. Boygenius clearly knows how to tug on everyone’s heartstrings. The question is… will ‘the record’ be just as heart wrenching?

‘Without You Without Them’ leads us into the album with a minute’s worth of sweet harmonies. It’s almost like they’re making a point of how we’ve been deprived of their angelic voices together for a whole five years, while preparing us for the next 11 tracks of new reasons to love the trio. The abandonment of instruments within this track gives the most authentic feel, allowing us to bask in everything that they’re giving to us.

Already, they’re switching up the sound of the album, beginning the second track, ‘$20’, with edgy guitar and stronger vocals. Towards the end of the track, these vocals turn into what can only be described as desperate screams. We’re two songs into ‘the record’, and we’ve heard two very different levels of their music, but it works so incredibly well.

You would have to be numb in every single way possible to not hurt after listening to ‘Emily I’m Sorry’. This is easily one of the most beautiful, yet painful songs I have ever heard. Bridgers takes the lead vocals on this one, and it’s obvious why when you listen to her solo music. The track follows what is presumably a story of two people trying to make it through together, while one is so evidently struggling with themselves, perfectly portrayed by the three phenomenal voices over sad and slow background music.

With well-over two million monthly listeners on Spotify, it’s obvious how loved this trio really is. While the songs they create are predominantly sad, it’s such a relief to not have downhearted songs that are all focused on break-ups. Throughout the album, we face struggles of self-love within ‘Not Strong Enough’ and the ache that comes when a loved one is hurting, as in ‘Revolution’.

Track nine, ‘Satanist’, gives us a break from the melancholy feel, and brings back the edgy guitar that is scarcely placed throughout the album. Lyrically, this song delivers a more angry atmosphere than the others on ‘the record’, with pent-up lines like, “Will you be an anarchist with me? Sleep in cars and kill the bourgeoisie?” Differing so much from the other tracks, it’s insane how well these three artists can flourish in everything they try.

A slow ending to the previous track flows flawlessly into ‘We’re In Love’, a base of acoustic guitar and piano coated by the soft voice of Lucy Dacus. Harmonies from the other two members build in towards the end, and it feels as though you’ve stumbled into a romance movie, slowly becoming more lost in the music. Dacus’ voice stands out so well against the instruments, clearly conveying every emotion that she wants us to feel.

‘Letter To An Old Poet’ is the final track on the album, and honestly, it leaves the best feeling at the end. The song starts with a voice that sounds close to tears, becoming more powerful as the song goes on with the background instruments relaying the development with deeper, more prominent music.

As downhearted as the songs on ‘the record’ are, the album is unbelievably uplifting. The serene voices of Boygenius leave such a beautiful feeling, especially with the range of emotions across all 12 tracks. With this being just their second released album, it’s hard not to wonder what else this band can do.

Boygenius: The Record – Out 31st March 2023 (Polydor / Interscope)

Boygenius – Not Strong Enough Video