On January 18th, supergroup Boygenius announced the release of their first full length album, along with the tracks, “True Blue,” “$20,” and “Emily, I’m Sorry.” The three tracks showed a new direction for the group while still showcasing each member’s forte. Haunting, insightful lyrics from Phoebe Bridgers, rich full harmonies from Lucy Dacus and powerful outstanding guitar parts from Julien Baker. Boygenius is back for a great debut! 

The first, “$20” is a fast indie-rock track led by Juilen Baker, that builds with the listener through its three minutes through a rough, quickly changing beat and supporting vocals from Bridgers and Dacus. It’s so quick that at first the listener misses the depth of the lyrics describing Baker’s struggle to keep moving forward while dealing with self-destructive tendencies and substance abuse: ‘it don’t run/On wishes but that I should have fun’ and ‘Run out of gas, out of time, out of money,/You’re doing what you can, just making it run’. When listening to “$20” you are hooked in by the fast changes of pace while the irregularity of the song pushes the listeners forward, until they focus on the lyrics and how it illustrates the struggle to be independent and productive while listening to our own needs and taking care of ourselves and by the outro of the song, about ready to scream and beg for their 20 dollars with Boygenius. 

Next Phoebe Bridgers leads “Emily, I’m Sorry,” a consistent description of a past relationship over watery guitar parts and supporting harmonies. Bridgers’ first verse begins with brash and disturbing lyrics like “She’s waking up inside a dream/Full of screeching tires and fire”, “When I pointed out where the north star is/She called me a […] liar”, softened by her light voice and quiet harmonies from Dacus and Baker. It’s tamed by watery guitars and rising chord progression, all coming together to show Bridgers warped view on her relationship. She knows that her and ‘Emily’ are unhealthy, but she loves being with her and changing herself to make the relationship work. The chorus is made up of different apologies from Bridgers to prevent anger from ‘Emily’ and to try to fix how she hurt her. Throughout the song Bridgers describes problems that would be the last straw for most couples between her and ‘Emily’ “Headed straight for the concrete/In a nightmare screaming/Now I’m wide awake, spiraling/And you don’t want to talk” always followed by an apology. She knows that the relationship is flawed, and that they hurt each other together. But she won’t give up on it because she is “Someone only [Emily] could want”. 

The third and final track released is “True Blue,” led by Dacus. It is the most hopeful track on the album and describes the love she feels with her partner in stark contrast to other relationships described in Boygenius previous songs and her own. The track begins a new era for Dacus in which she writes about the people and feelings in her life today, rather than in retrospect as she did on her last two albums: Home Video and Historian. However, the song stays in touch with Dacus’s roots and with strong vocals and well paired instrumentals. The lyrics have callbacks to previous songs on the record, “When you don’t know who you are? You […] find out”. This seems to be a response to “I’m twenty seven and I don’t who I am” from “Emily, I’m Sorry” and the chorus “And it feels good to be known so well” a reference to the chorus of her song “Brando” “You never knew me like you thought you did.” “True Blue” shows happiness and a realistic depiction of the ‘perfect relationship’ with its downs, “You’ve never done me wrong except for that one time/That we don’t talk about because it doesn’t matter anymore” and it’s ups, “And it feels good to be known so well/I can’t hide from you like I hide from myself/I remember who I am when I’m with you” that the listener can look up to and hope to get for themselves. 

These three tracks take a new direction from the group’s previous releases but still maintain the chemistry between the three members that came through on their acclaimed EP. Each track could be the standout on a lesser album with their strong instrumentation, beautiful harmonies and raw, powerful vocals from Bridgers, Baker and Dacus. The released tracks demonstrate strength in new indie rock direction for the group, and indicate a great debut album for Boygenius.