On Wednesday, January 18th, 2023, the day that fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus had been waiting for since 2018 finally arrived. boygenius has officially returned. Fans had been speculating about a possible reunion of the trio since around November, when Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus were spotted taking photos together in brightly colored clothing at a seemingly random corner in Los Angeles. Rumors about new music from the group also started spreading when they were announced as a performer at this year’s upcoming Coachella music festival.
Turns out, the photos that fans saw the group taking together were very much intentional. They were recreating a famous Nirvana photo shoot (which originally appeared in Mademoiselle Magazine in 1993) in which the band was dressed head to toe in colorful crop tops and skirts. This recreation, as we now have come to find out, was for an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone. That issue has finally come to fruition, as on Thursday, January 19th, Rolling Stone revealed their next cover stars to be boygenius. The trio’s cover is a recreation of Nirvana’s 1994 Rolling Stone cover, where Nirvana appeared in blue suits and red ties, with the tagline “success doesn’t suck” sprawled across their photo. On the 2023 cover, Bridgers appeared front and center as lead singer Kurt Cobain, with Baker to her left as drummer Dave Grohl, and Dacus to her right as bassist Krist Novoselic. Just like the original cover, the singer/songwriters wear blue suits with red ties, adorned with buttons and pins that represent their solo work.
These iconic photos were not the only thing fans of the group were blessed with as of late. boygenius has also released three new songs in support of their upcoming (and first) full-length album, titled the record set to be released on March 31st. The songs, “$20”, “Emily, I’m Sorry, and “True Blue” are each lead by a different member of the group, with Baker taking center stage on “$20”, Bridgers taking the lead on “Emily I’m Sorry”, and Dacus commanding “True Blue.” Each song demonstrates the respective artists’ musical identity with grungy rock instrumentals grabbing our attention in“$20”, and “Emily, I’m Sorry” and “True Blue” centering a more stripped-down, folky, alternative rock sound that we’ve come to love from the artists.
boygenius is on a mission to take up space in the music industry. In their recent Rolling Stone interview, Angie Martoccio writes, “boygenius love classic rock — after Bridgers spoke to Paul McCartney on Instagram Live in 2021, she broke down in tears. But boygenius also love to subvert male hero worship of all kinds — their band name is a reference for overconfident men who are praised for their every thought — and more than anything, they just want to be treated like famous bands of dudes.” Each member of the group doesn’t shy away from their identity as a queer woman, and themes of queer love, understanding identity, and finding belonging can be heard throughout many of their tracks. For example, in “Emily, I’m Sorry”, Bridgers laments, “Emily, I’m sorry, baby/ You know how I get when I’m wrong/ And I can feel myself becoming/ Somebody I’m not.” Their honest lyrics and take-no-shit personalities have allowed them to build a fanbase of loyal supporters who identify with their music. On their fanbase, Bridgers states, “We have the kind of superfans that John Lennon had, but some of our relatives don’t think we make any money. Like, ‘When are you going to get a real job?’”
Fans have been celebrating the trio’s return with several hilarious tweets since the official announcements and photos by the band and the Rolling Stone cover. One fan tweeted, “i am filing a class action lawsuit against boygenius for emotional damages. You may be entitled to compensation, too.” Another tweeted, “new boygenius era i’m on the floor.”
i am filing a class action lawsuit against boygenius for emotional damages. you may be entitled to compensation, too.
— caleb hearon (@calebsaysthings) January 18, 2023
new boygenius era i’m on the floor pic.twitter.com/iYMhfaII5M
— beanie baby (@hello_aubs) January 18, 2023
And a personal favorite of mine, one fan recreated one of those famous, kitschy One Direction Tumblr Posts from 2012 with the members of boygenius.
now that boygenius is back i want more attention for this pic.twitter.com/HI9BVKdZ90
— mary♡ (@ahoyboygenius) January 22, 2023
boygenius, as well as the solo work of its members, have been known for their emotional gut-punching lyrics and haunting melodies. It seems as though their fans are getting very excited to be emotionally devastated by the band once again when the record drops on March 31st, and I am one of them.
Top Photo: boygenius on YouTube