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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

Simple but sweet: boygenius’ “the rest” follows their debut enchantingly

Silhouettes against the sky, the members of boygenius look out over an ocean. Composed of singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, the trio released their second EP, “the rest” on Oct. 13. The band has accumulated almost 4.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Interscope Records
Silhouettes against the sky, the members of boygenius look out over an ocean. Composed of singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, the trio released their second EP, “the rest” on Oct. 13. The band has accumulated almost 4.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

On Sept. 25, four Instagram accounts simultaneously posted an update to their feed — singer-songwriters Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and the account dedicated to their American indie supergroup, “boygenius.” All at once, they announced the release of their second EP, “the rest.”

“the rest” follows the trio’s debut album, “the record,” which was released March 2023. But the origin of the band dates back to 2018, when the already-close trio decided to co-headline for each other. They sat down to simply write a single or pick a cover to perform together but ended up recording their entire first EP, “boygenius,” in just four days.

Their latest collection of songs came out Oct. 13, wrapped together with a serene album cover of the band members, or “the boys,” looking out at an ocean, backs turned.

Track one of four, “Black Hole,” opens with Baker’s voice in the spotlight, instrumentals gradually building up around her. The production shines on the track, creating a solid first song for the EP. While its two minutes and 22 seconds is only composed of a verse and a chorus, the simple structure plays well with the build to the harmonized vocals, which adds a flair to the ending.

“Black Hole” references a news article about an astronomical revelation. But the track also ties back to the lead single of “the record,” “Not Strong Enough,” which opens with the line, “Black hole opened in the kitchen.” Throughout this EP, several pieces feel linked to their debut, both structurally and thematically.

Also similar to a few songs on “the record,” track two features solely Dacus on the verses and the trio on the choruses. “Afraid of Heights” follows the recklessness of knowing a risk-taker who, upon closer inspection, may actually be more cautious towards life than expected. The storyline steals the show, with beautiful lyrics like “I wanna live a vibrant life, but I wanna die a boring death” and “Tellin’ me what you believe/How we’re stuck in entropy/How it hurts to hope.” Dacus wrote “Afraid of Heights” and brought to the band as a potential track for “the record” but ultimately left it off, saying it “didn’t fit” the album in the end. But that’s what “the rest” feels like — a follow-up to “the record.” It still stands alone wonderfully, but with the thematic connections back to boygenius’ debut, this EP feels like the second and closing chapter. 

Track three takes a lullaby-like approach, with Bridgers’ siren-like vocals at the forefront of “Voyager.” Baker and Dacus are found humming alongside a soft, picking guitar. Threading themes of breaking free, love and a bit of disorientation through this song, Bridgers’ hushed singing adds a sense of comfort to the piece that make it a perfect addition to “the rest.”

To wrap it up, “Powers” is the longest song on the EP, tracking four minutes and 15 seconds. This is a more upbeat end to the four songs, with metaphysical lyrics — a recurring theme in “the rest” — relating superhero origins to an individual’s personal beginning. Winding up to an instrumental outro starring a lilting trumpet, this feels like one of the more intensely-produced tracks on the EP, which stands out, considering some of these songs feel fragmented.

While short and sweet, “the rest” finishes in just over 12 minutes. It feels like a follow-up to their debut, yet it leaves you clinging to every word of the brief melodies offered. This, however, may be the point. Listening to “the rest” all at once, it feels harmonious, but these songs are dependent upon each other. They would almost feel incomplete on their own, but that just might be what makes “the rest” such a congruous EP. It’s enchanting in that sense; the songs find their way to resonate with each listener because they fit together so well. In addition to the stunning vocals, lyrics, and themes, its ability to fit so cohesively together, but not quite stand alone, that the Pathfinder rates “the rest” a 7.8245/10.

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About the Contributor
Emily Early, Editor-in-Chief
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 4 What is your favorite piece of literature? "Turtles all the way down" by John Green. Who is your hero? My parents, always. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Realistically, avocado toast, but I really want to say blueberries.
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