Supergroup boygenius talks about new full-length album ‘the file’ : NPR

Indie icons Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus make up the supergroup boygenius.

Shervin Lainez/boygenius

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Shervin Lainez/boygenius

Indie icons Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus make up the supergroup boygenius.

Shervin Lainez/boygenius

Musicians Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus all have huge solo careers, however they joined forces a couple of years again on a joint undertaking. And it is clear from the second NPR talked to them that they’re completely in sync.

As a band, the members name themselves boygenius and in 2018 the group launched its first music collectively within the type of a six-song, self-titled EP. Followers have been begging for extra ever since, and now the band is again with a full-length file, the file.

All three members joined Weekend Version to speak about writing songs in regards to the energy of friendship, being referred to as a “supergroup” and the fun of urgent the button that tells you to not press it.

The next interview has been condensed and edited. To hearken to the audio model, click on the hyperlink above.

Miles Parks, Weekend Version: I hoped we may truly begin with the “supergroup” moniker. What do you guys consider that title?

Phoebe Bridgers: I prefer it higher than “facet undertaking.”

Julien Baker: Yeah, I really feel like facet tasks are when an individual from an already profitable band desires to do one thing obscure or somewhat bit extra esoteric and make, like … dub jams for a short while.

Bridgers: One thing much less enjoyable.

That is what I could not inform. Like does supergroup trivialize it? Or does it not trivialize? As a result of this music is clearly an incredible album.

Bridgers: I believe it solely trivializes it as a result of contextually there aren’t very many cool supergroups. I believe there are some nice ones, however you want the context of the folks’s solo work for it to be cool. There aren’t lots of supergroups which can be higher than the sum of their elements, I do not assume. And I believe we are the tightest.

boysgenius’ “Emily I am Sorry” examines intimacy and poisonous relationships.


One of many themes that I hear quite a bit as I’ve listened to this file is digging into intimacy. That lyric [on “Emily I’m Sorry,”] “I can really feel myself changing into somebody solely you possibly can need,” actually performs on this type of two sides of intimacy — it is clearly very nice to be near any individual, however it could kind of shine a lightweight on the elements of you that perhaps you do not love. Phoebe, what are your ideas on that?

Bridgers: It is clearly self-deprecating, nevertheless it’s additionally a dig on the different particular person.

Lucy Dacus: I all the time thought that that line is the important context for the refrain as a result of it is just like the particular person satisfied you of the lie. It is like if you’re feeling like, “Oh truly, you’re the solely particular person.” That is why you are like, I am sorry. As a result of it is like, you are my one likelihood at being beloved, which is what poisonous folks need you to consider. I’ve had that have the place somebody’s like, that is one of the best you are going to get.

Bridgers: Nobody’s gonna love you want I do. Precisely. Please by no means once more. [Laughs]

Baker: As a result of nobody else sees how despicable you’re. They’re like, nobody else sees the actual you — and if different folks noticed the actual you, they would not love you.

I wish to speak about [the song “$20.”] That line “It is a unhealthy thought and I am all about it” can embody a lot of your music, Julien, when it comes to attempting to know some self-destructive tendencies. I’m wondering why are you all about it?

Baker: [Laughs] Why am I all about it? What’s extra enjoyable than urgent the button that claims, “Do not press this button?”

[Everyone laughs]

Baker: What’s it about me?! That is been my perpetual battle since I used to be like 5 years outdated of attempting to not be that man and I assume attempting to interrogate what’s it inside myself that is in search of a extra sensational, excessive feeling than what can be like a more healthy, extra steady apply. Like, how do I arrive at that? I simply wrote that half and that riff after which despatched it to them. After which Phoebe and Lucy extrapolated it into a complete whole story and setting.

I wish to flip to you, Lucy, and speak about this superior brief track referred to as “Leonard Cohen” on the album that opens with this type of vignette [about driving.] Are you able to simply inform the story of the opening of “Leonard Cohen?”

Dacus: After our first writing journey collectively in April of 2021, we had been in — [Laughs] I preserve calling it “Upstate California” — Northern California and driving again to L.A. and Phoebe was like, “Oh my God, have y’all not heard “The Trapeze Swinger” by Iron and Wine?” She acquired on the interstate the improper means and I observed half means by the track, however she was so severe. She was like, “Y’all have to shut up and hearken to this.” It was not gonna be okay to interrupt the second. It is like a 10-minute track or perhaps extra. Julien and I had been like, “That was superior, um, you are going to have to show round although.”

Bridgers: It is simply humorous to me that if anyone interrogates that lyric, the one means that it occurred is in case you’re in a Tesla. No missed exit would add an hour. The large iPad was screaming at us to show round. And I wasn’t.

“Traditionally shut associates” Bridgers, Dacus and Baker.

Mikayla LoBasso/boygenius

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Mikayla LoBasso/boygenius

“Traditionally shut associates” Bridgers, Dacus and Baker.

Mikayla LoBasso/boygenius

I used to be speaking to our nice critic at NPR Music, Marissa Lorusso, and I used to be simply asking her what she thought in regards to the album. She was saying one of many issues she beloved a lot about this file is that lots of your songs are about friendship and viewing friendship as a love that is price writing about. Are you able to speak about why that is one thing price writing about?

Dacus: I simply had a realization that we’re doing the “traditionally shut associates” factor.

Bridgers: Sure. We’re Eleanor Roosevelt.

Dacus: You know the way like folks do not say “lesbian.” They only say simply “being traditionally shut associates.” [Laughs] However I do not know, friendship is one thing that I take into consideration quite a bit. My life is outlined by my associates. I really feel like there’s perhaps some good media about friendships, however not a ton. Romance additionally has typical touchstones, whereas each friendship is so distinctive. I sort of really feel like there’s much more there to play with. So why aren’t folks doing it? It would not really feel like a hack topic. The best way that I have been writing lots of love songs just lately and I really feel myself being like, that is overplayed or this is not profound within the slightest, however I can decide any considered one of my associates and write one thing that’s simply utterly distinctive to them.

One of many different moments I actually beloved on the album was on the finish if you reference the “Me & My Canine” melody from the primary EP. Full disclosure, [I] acquired some chills. How did you determine to do this?

Bridgers: I simply began writing a track that I used to be like, god, I’ve to cease scripting this. It is simply precisely “Me & My Canine.” Then I used to be like, wait, I’m making a boygenius album. I’ve an issue with that, simply sort of not being carried out writing a track. When you crack the code of phonetically and rhythmically write in a track’s world, as soon as I am carried out is once I’m one of the best at it, and that sucks. To have the ability to write a sequel track was so magical. Then Lucy recommended — as a result of I used to be like, “I am feeling like this and I am feeling like this and I am feeling this” — what in case you simply say, “I wish to be joyful?” And I used to be like … [pretends to sob.]

Dacus: It is the saddest factor Phoebe’s ever mentioned.

Bridgers: And also you get by the whole file earlier than you understand we’re referencing something we have carried out or any comparable concepts even. I used to be actually excited for folks to be like, “Wait, what? Is it about to be? It’s about to be that!”

It sounds such as you guys are having lots of enjoyable writing these songs and enjoying them. There was lots of anticipation [after] the EP about whether or not there can be a full size after which right here it’s. What is the plan for the band going ahead?

Bridgers: I really feel prefer it’s arduous to reply that query as a result of we’re so enthusiastic about having carried out this.

Dacus: There is not any plan, as a result of all of the plans we’re making are about this proper now.

Bridgers: As a result of we’re dwelling in it.

Baker: Yeah, that is true.

Dacus: We did say, we’re gonna give this yr to one another. All of us have our personal issues, and so carving out a complete yr is quite a bit. I believe that is a part of folks’s interplay with the band — excessive presence and gratitude, which is what we even have. We’re all on the identical web page that that is an surprising deal with from life. … I believe that is a part of why it is good to really feel current.


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