The queer supergroup boygenius, consisting of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, released its second EP last Friday. The group formed in 2018 after meeting in 2016. From then on, it released a self-titled EP in late 2018 consisting of six songs and released a full-length studio album "the record” in March of 2023.
The members of the group have been doing well in their musical careers since the initial EP release. The group performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year and went on to play several sold-out shows while on tour this past summer.
Boygenius announced “the rest” EP Sept. 25, a few weeks before the release date. The group revealed and played the four songs on its late fall tour dates. Fans are likely to have heard the music before the official release date because of the band's fanbase on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
“Black Hole” is the first song on the EP, which begins with dominating vocals from Baker. The music is powerful and has a unique melody that is different from the rest of their discography as a group. “Black Hole” is likely a song originally written by Baker that was adapted for boygenius, and fans have suggested many of their songs are like this.
The track talks about what can and cannot be controlled, that “It’s out of your hands, but have a safe flight.” The idea of a black hole is that what will happen, happens. “Black Hole” is perfect for the fall, as it is a song to put on your walking home from class playlist. The song has energy, passion and a respectable beat to enjoy.
The second track of the EP, “Afraid of Heights,” has a slow guitar strum in the back that stays throughout the entirety of the song. Dacus begins by expressing regret after telling someone she is afraid of heights. She goes into how they tested her limits, making her uncomfortable.
Dacus sings, “I don’t wanna live forever, but I don’t wanna die tonight,” in response to being questioned why she refused to jump off a cliff. There are two different choruses in the song in which the group equally shares the amount of time on track. After the chorus, Dacus proceeds to share, “I never rode a motorcycle. I’ve never smoked a cigarette,” which made her a “crybaby.”
The song is an anthem for anyone who has felt uncomfortable because of the expectations of their peers. The song revisits themes from “Bite the Hand,” a track on the group’s self-titled EP, expressing uncomfortable relationships with their fans.
“Afraid of Heights” is arguably the catchiest song on the EP. It already has a TikTok trend. The trend shows photos of fans from when “the record” was released versus when “the rest” was released.
“Voyager” starts with a humming intro from Baker and Dacus followed by the careful playing of guitar notes. Bridgers uses softer, intentionally shaky vocals in the track. The lyrics discuss personal subject matter, showing a complicated relationship between Bridgers and another person.
Bridgers sings, “But I used to believe no one could love you like I do, and I'm starting to think that it might be impossible not to.” The display of lyrics shows both a strong love and a sort of disconnect to the person the song is for. The song also has a theme connection to two other boygenius songs, “Me & My Dog” from their self-titled EP and “Letter To An Old Poet” from “the record.”
The tone of Bridger’s voice in “Voyager” is very similar to her voice in the “So Much Wine” EP that she released last November. Because of this, the music feels like a mellow Christmas. Bridgers is known for mellow music and this song feels representative of her as a songwriter.
“Powers” begins with quick strums of a guitar, a sigh and the vocals of Baker. The start of the song aligns with tracks from Baker’s most recent album, “Little Oblivions.” As the track proceeds, Dacus and Bridgers join Baker in the third verse to demonstrate their power. Being both the final track on the EP and the longest app an intentional choice from the artists. Trumpets are used in the outro of the song, which then ends the EP.
The members of boygenius presented the EP to fans as a potential last release of their group music, which can be assumed from the title. The EP is equally split by each member having a song true to their discography. Lyrically, the tracks are unparalleled and represent the group’s commitment to abstract songwriting. The instrumental combinations included in the EP stay true to the identity of boygenius as a whole.