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Review of “The Rest”: Boygenius’ new EP

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

On Friday October 13th, 2023 the Indie-Rock supergroup Boygenius released their highly anticipated EP “The Rest.” This EP is an extension of their critically acclaimed debut album titled “The Record” which was released on March 31, 2023. It includes four brand new songs titled “Black Hole”, “Afraid of Heights”, “Voyager” and “Powers.”

The members of Boygenius are Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus. Each member has an extremely successful solo career that highlights their unique vocal styles and shared talent for brilliant songwriting. Julien Baker’s “Little Oblivions”, Phoebe Bridgers’ “Punisher” and Lucy Dacus’ “Home Video” are all iconic masterpieces in the indie music world; their solo works are well worth a deep-dive and a binge-listen. When combined into a band, this trifecta’s musical power is unstoppable. 

Two months before the announcement of “The Rest” Boygenius announced their fall leg of tour . It notably included their sold-out debut performance at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 2. Starting with MGM music hall in Boston, the first show of the fall tour, the musical masterminds performed one unreleased song from “The Rest” at every tour date until they performed every song on “The Rest”. During their encore performance at MSG, Boygenius acoustically performed the entirety of “The Rest” for the first time while simultaneously rocking the stage at MSG for the first time.

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Boygenius’ MSG Performance

The Review

Black Hole

Black Hole is the opening track of “The Rest” and it begins with Baker’s gentle vocals over a note of a piano key being played incessantly. Baker sings, “Out here it gets so dark” in a slightly fearful tone which may be interpreted as a call back to the title of the song. The title “Black Hole” may also connect to the lyric in “Not Strong Enough” from “The Record”; “Black Hole opened in the kitchen/Every clocks a different time.” The mood of the song shifts when the drums kick in adding a sound layer reminiscent of thunder booming. The song begins to feel more urgent when the main vocals switch off to Dacus who repeats phrases that become increasingly more existential including, “My thoughts/All noise/Fake smile/Decoys/Sometimes/I need/To hear/Your voice” The ominous meaning and the angsty build up of the song leaves the listener with the feeling of confusion and the idea of being isolated as if they’re in a black hole only accompanied by their spiraling thoughts.

Afraid of Heights

Afraid of Heights describes the contrasting worldviews between two individuals; one lives recklessly while the other lives in their comfort-zone. Immediately, Dacus admits straight-forwardly that the relationship between these two people was negatively impacted when one admits their fear of heights to the other. The song also details the internal conflict of wanting to live life to its fullest while being drawn back by fear. Dacus sings, “I wanna live a vibrant life/But I wanna die a boring death.” In this relationship, fears are undermined and boundaries are overstepped by force; “It made you wanna test my courage/You made me climb a cliff at night.” The other character’s reckless tendencies are ultimately a facade since, “they’re the one who got teary eyed” even though they shame the other for not living on the edge. Dacus beautifully delivers this meaningful story over acoustic guitar chords played with a subtle twangy folk-style throughout the song. 


Voyager begins with whimsical harmonies that continue throughout the song. Bridgers is the main vocalist in this song and she recalls her experiences of devotion being unreciprocated in a relationship. The melancholy sound and soft-spoken vocals reflect the pain arising from remembering this relationship. Bridgers frequently uses the moon as a symbol in her song writing (and it’s gut-wrenching every time). In Moon Song, a song from her album “Punisher”, she sings, “If I could give you the moon/I would give you the moon.” Phoebus, a moon goddess, has an uncanny resemblance to the name Phoebe. Many interpret this lyric as Bridgers saying she would give all of herself to this person if she was able to or if they would let her. The ending lines of voyager are, “But I never imagined a dot quite as pale or as blue (Ooh)/You took it from me, but I would’ve given it to you (Mmm).” This embodies the main theme of unrequited love and the feeling of one’s love being taken for granted.


Powers, the closing track of “The Rest,” begins with an isolated acoustic guitar backing track and Baker singing the first verse wondering if she’s “…simply another of the universe’s failed experiments?” Baker uses otherworldly supervillain origin-story metaphors such as “falling into a nuclear reactor” and a “hostile alien ambassador” to explore the feeling of uncertainty as to what force shaped her into her current-self. She also uses metaphors of light and comets which draws a connection to “Black Hole”,the first song on the EP. There’s a beautiful one minute long instrumental outro including a trumpet solo that feels like a resolution or an epiphany which ties together the end of the EP for the listener.

Overall, “The Rest” is yet another amazing collection of songs added to Boygenius’ discography. Baker, Bridgers, and Dacus use their evocative songwriting to explore the unknown in topics ranging from romantic relationships, platonic relationships, outer space, and supervillain origin stories. While “The Rest” is a short listen of only four songs, the impact of this whimsical EP is one of the most profound in their discography.

Brooke is a Senior English Major at Hofstra University. She loves writing poetry, attending concerts and browsing bookstores for new romance reads.