The boys are back with their breathtaking new EP ‘the rest‘. boygenius, made up of the widely talented Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, treated fans to some extra tracks that didn’t make it onto their debut studio album. ‘the record’ was a heartfelt love letter that invited listeners into the close friendship the artist’s share. In addition to this, ‘the rest’ feels like finding the drafted versions of said love letters. Each one is seemingly more tender paired with an open rawness.
Firstly the four-track EP is opened with ‘Black Hole’ which was inspired by a tweet. The headline spoke about a black hole creating stars rather than destroying them. Ultimately, it led the internet to wonder about the kind of poetry that it would inspire. The somber piano and stripped-back vocals from Baker captures perfectly the idea of something beautiful coming from something that is often so destructive.
A perfect follow-up is the sound of ‘Afraid of Heights‘, which debuted at MGM Music Hall in Boston, after debuting ‘Black Hole‘ at the same venue the night before. The track is carried by Dacus’ warm storytelling style of singing. Moreover, it’s accompanied by a dreamy siren-like song flowing through the background of the plucky guitar sounds. Following a friendship that consists of one reckless person and one ‘scaredy-cat’, the line “I wanna live a vibrant life/ But I wanna die a boring death,” reveals that lust for life and fear of the unknown. The enchanting song was written with ‘the record’ in mind. However, when putting the album together, it didn’t quite fit. Although, it finds its place here on ‘the rest’.
‘Voyager‘ sees all three members’ voices intertwined to create an almost acapella-sounding tune. Bridgers’ haunting vocals sweep over the soft humming of Dacus and Baker. Meanwhile, the title is based on the Voyager 1 spacecraft. These space references are common within the trio’s music, demonstrated in ‘Me & My Dog’ from their self-titled 2018 EP and again in ‘Letter To An Old Poet’ from ‘the record’.
Last but not least, the final song on the unforgettable project is ‘Powers’. A gritty song that sees Baker looking inward at how she came to be. Similarly, the theme of space and science is once again becoming prominent in the tune. Even going so far as to compare her origin story to one the same as a villain, with the idea she came from toxic chemicals or a failed experiment. The striking song ends with swelling organ sounds that could easily accompany the realisation of one figuring out their reason for life, fitting seamlessly with the theme of the track.
Altogether, ‘the rest’ has seen some of the best and most unconcealed songwriting from the trio. This year has undoubtedly been the year of boygenius, dominating the world through humour and open-heartedness. However, the most important works of the three best friends are their honesty and love for each other. ‘the rest’ secures itself as both a pleasure and privilege to experience their innermost workings.