boygenius

boygenius EP

Matador

Nov 20, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

The "breakup album" is often considered a uniquely individual expression of grief or triumph. Generally, the details of an individual's romantic life have enough broad associations to the particulars of another's and we, as listeners, are able to empathize with the album in an inductive way, tracing out trends from the intimately documented debris of a former romance. This process of identification is inverted on Phoebe Bridges', Lucy Dacus', and Julien Baker's debut EP as boygenius. Instead of zooming out from the particulars, we are presented with the general truths of our romances from which we may string together our own private experiences.

That isn't to suggest that the EP is a demanding listen that requires effort on the part of the listener. The folk-rock harmonies weave seamlessly through the mist of spindly guitars and echoey ambience and the democratically allocated lead duties almost always blur back into a collective voice. The lessons the EP documents are not always the most palatable, but the delivery is always as familiar as the wind, whether combing through fields or uprooting a mighty oak. This familiarity, in part, owes itself to the consistent clarity of vision maintained throughout the album as Bridges, Dacus, and Baker document shared trials with weary exasperation.

In one of the most cathartic moments on the album, the track "Me & My Dog" uses the imagery of the simplicity and unquestioning devotion of a love with a pet to express the yearning for a love that comes without judgment and rests on a deeply rooted foundation of mutual acceptance. As the song builds and the acoustic gives way to electric, the lyrics become more unqualified and Bridges' vocals blend with the group's as they express an impossible desire. Through communion they find belonging in isolation. (store.matadorrecords.com/boygenius)

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