The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Torch Photo / Olivia Rainson
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Boygenius Returns with “The Record:” A Powerful Extension Of Its Indie Roots

Boygenius debuted their first full album on March 31st and have been crushing the charts ever since.
Photo Courtesy / Youtube boygenius

In 2018, indie rock supergroup “Boygenius” debuted their self-titled EP, stunning the music industry with their emotionally passionate lyrics. Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker comprise this girl group aptly named Boygenius, which they say is a reference to the pedestal men are put on since birth. With their new album “The Record,” the band created a powerful extension of their EP’s indie roots. 

The project opens with “Without You Without Them,” where the group displays their personal and musical maturation as the track picks up where the band left off, with the last song on their debut EP, “Ketchum, ID.” 

The difference now is that the group wishes to return to their individual family roots to better understand who they are.

The album continues with the theme of friendship and forgiveness in “Emily I’m Sorry” and “True Blue.” In “Emily I’m Sorry,” Bridgers begs for forgiveness as she recognizes her immaturity and growth, despite saying she is “twenty-seven and I don’t know who I am.” “True Blue” highlights the importance of a person seeing you for your true self, and the relief that comes from being understood. 

The record’s fifth track “Cool About It” comes at just the right time on the album and serves as a reminder of the reality of toxic past relationships and the agony of their endings despite the trauma they have instilled in each lover. The song describes the feeling of trying to save somebody from drowning, only to drown yourself in the process.The pain of these kinds of experiences is a recurring theme that is demonstrated further on the track “Not Strong Enough.” 

“I don’t know why I am the way I am,” the group sings. “Not strong enough to be your man.” Confessing the fear of inadequacy in a relationship, this track exposes the anxiety of any beginning and “spinning out about things that haven’t happened.” 

Working past this fear of being intimate comes “We’re In Love” — a brutally-honest description of how easily a heart in love can be shattered. Dacus controls the majority of the vocals in this song and sings of her desire for her relationship to be open and honest despite the potential pain that could be caused.

The eighth track “Leonard Cohen” is a short but influential track on the friendship of the group. The lyrics, “I never thought you’d happen to me” refer to the band itself, and how “Boygenius” came back together in 2020 after a hiatus following their EP. It is a testament to female friendship and the sharing of stories in a long car ride.

A powerful lyric from the last song on the album, “Letter To An Old Poet,” — and the perfect way to close out an album of heartbreak, friendship and love. Referencing a prior song from their EP, “Me & My Dog,” the group sings of emaciation — a desire to find closure and leave the past behind to finally be happy. The bridge of this song mirrors “Me & My Dog,” and offers eventual closure to the relationship being described in the previous song.

The album is intended to be listened to from start to finish, and the closing song sums up the stories told throughout “The Record” — and the lessons to be taken from unhealthy, unequal love.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Rainson
Olivia Rainson, Features Editor & Social Media Manager
Olivia Rainson is a senior English major and creative writing minor serving as the Features Editor and Social Media Manager. She also works at the University Writing Center and is on the editorial board of the Intersections Literary Magazine. Olivia has been with The Torch since the beginning of her sophomore year, and when she isn’t writing, you can find her reading with an iced coffee. Olivia can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]
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