The Music Moment: the rest by boygenius

2 mins read

Less than six months after the release of their critically acclaimed debut album the record, boygenius band members Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker made a musical comeback with their new EP, the rest on October 13th, which contains songs that were scrapped from their recent album the record. The EP is brief, consisting of merely four tracks that make up just over twelve minutes of music. Unsurprisingly, the rest shares many musical elements with the record and even parallels some of Bridgers’ solo music. Including components of each artist’s individual style and musical essence, the rest speaks to the rawness of both love and life. 

“Black Hole”

The EP interestingly opens with a repeating singular piano note in “Black Hole,” and much like Bridgers’ solo song “Waiting Room,” the tempo and volume gradually build louder, chaotically setting a precedent for the spontaneity within the rest of the project. Bridgers sings, “My thoughts, all noise, fake smile, decoys / sometimes, I need to hear your voice,” depicting how the draining-ness of life requires companionship to keep you sane and grounded. Later in the song, Dacus beautifully serenades the ears of listeners, comparing waiting patiently to sugar dissolving in a teacup. The metaphor implies the process of slowly coming to one’s senses of a major flaw in a relationship while holding one’s breath until another person “came up”, which signifies being suffocated by avoidance of accepting this painful revelation. 

“Afraid of Heights”

Upon first listen, the somber guitar strumming on the second track “Afraid of Heights” instantly reminded me of the near-identical intro of the record‘s “Emily I’m Sorry.” However, the track’s message heavily contrasts “Emily I’m Sorry,” with opening lyrics, “I know that I f*cked up when I told you that I’m afraid of heights / it made you wanna test my courage / you made me climb a cliff at night,” showing how expressing vulnerability to the wrong person can make people act unlike themselves. Additionally, Dacus’ line, “One man’s dream is another man’s death,” emphasizes how people’s aspirations and goals can conflict with one another, leading to selfishness.


The haunting echoes of “Voyager”’s opening vocals invoke a sense of being lost at sea, setting an eerily mysterious tone for the rest of the song. Bridgers sings, “And I don’t mean to make it all about me, but I used to believe no one could love you like I do,” one of the many lines that parallels “Moon Song” from her solo album Punisher. Here, a narrative unfolds, depicting the melancholic trajectory of a once prospering love that is now on the brink of disaster. The verses paint a vivid picture of a love story that has lost hold of its luster, drawing more parallels to the musical landscape of “Moon Song”, which also tells a story of a relationship that gives way to a one-sided connection. “Voyager” becomes a somber exploration of how a relationship can push people past their limits, navigating the treacherous waters where affection once thrived but sank into the trenches of desolation.


“powers” is my favorite track on the EP. It comes in as the longest track, tallying in at four minutes. The song details Baker’s narration of discovering her identity, including indulging in the feelings of isolation and helplessness in a wildly complicated world. Baker sings about how life flashes by in an instant, reflecting on the impact we make on existence and the periods of intense and unexpected change. Overall, the lyricism of the song serves as a poetic snapshot of our impacts on others, no matter how small our actions may be.

Despite being a very brief release, the rest successfully intertwines each of the three members’ stylistic individuality for which boygenius is known into yet another musical masterpiece. I especially enjoyed the deep insight behind Baker and Dacus on the EP, as their solo music is criminally underrated, especially in comparison to Bridgers’s success. One can hope it isn’t too long until the bands’ next release.

Penelope is a sophomore at M-A, and this is her first year in journalism. She is interested in writing music reviews as well as incorporating unique student perspectives into her stories. In her free time, you can find her practicing tennis, watercolor painting, or knotting away at her growing collection of friendship bracelets.

Latest from Blog