boygenius have released the follow-up to their debut album, the record, in the form of a 4-song EP entitled the rest. The trio, consisting of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, announced the new EP just a few weeks ago; slowly releasing track titles as they performed the songs live, one by one, at various stops on their latest tour. Fans are ecstatic about the short wait time between releases, as many were around for the years-long break between their debut EP released back in 2018, and their debut album released earlier this year.
The EP opens with “Black Hole,” a short song led by Baker as she sits pensively “in a rainstorm,” contemplating her current situation. Dacus and Bridgers join in on the second verse as the instrumental picks up, with lyrics like “My thoughts, all noise, fake smile, decoys.” They close out the song singing “Sometimes, I need to hear your voice.” The next track, “Afraid of Heights,” features Dacus’ take on mortality, as she sings “I wanna live a vibrant life / But I wanna die a boring death.” Regretful of telling someone more daring than her that she’s afraid of heights, Dacus sings, “It made you wanna test my courage.” Dacus reflects on her own life in comparison, thinking “I never rode a motorcycle, I’ve never smoked a cigarette.”
“Voyager” is the EP’s third song, led by Bridgers. It’s a melancholic, slow-paced, guitar-backed track about the loss of a relationship, with Bridgers singing “You thought I’d never leave and I let you believe you were right.” The lyrics feature references to the moon, one of Bridgers’ favorite topics to sing about. In the third verse, she sings “Walkin’ alone in this city / Makes me feel like a man on the moon.” The EP’s final song, “powers,” is reminiscent of “Anti-Curse,” a song featured on the record. It opens up with a similar chord progression followed by a shaky breath from Baker before she begins to sing, “How did it start?” She questions whether she’s “simply another of the universe’s failed experiments,” wondering where her “powers” originated from; it serves as a metaphor for her existence.
the rest features songs that easily could have been featured on the record. It’s a great expansion on the album, but also signifies where the band is at currently. Each track ties back to the members’ solo works, portraying subtle differences in style between the three; just listen to the instrumental differences (specifically, guitar) on Dacus’ “Afraid of Heights” and Bridgers’ “Voyager.” Overall, the rest is a well-rounded EP that pays homage to their time together as a band and serves as a gateway for them to return to their work as solo artists. I can’t wait to see what boygenius has in store for us next!
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