boygenius Began As A Book Club

Matt Grubb

boygenius Began As A Book Club

Matt Grubb

One week from today, the indie singer-songwriter supergroup boygenius will release their debut full-length album, the record. In a new feature published today in The Guardian, the band discusses the new album, their creative process, going to group therapy together. They also share their origin story.

As the story explains, boygenius began as a long-distance book club, with Baker and Dacus sending each other reading recommendations and sharing about each other’s lives, starting when they played a show together in Washington, DC in 2016:

Boygenius began with Dacus and Baker. In 2016, sharing the bill in Washington DC, Baker came backstage and found Dacus reading Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady. They fell into conversation quickly, ranging from reading to religion, to their shared experience of growing up in the American south (Dacus in Virginia, Baker in Tennessee). When they parted, Dacus tore a blank page out of her book and wrote down her email address.

What followed was something between an epistolary friendship and a roving book club. Both were in their early 20s, touring their debut albums, feeling the strange isolation of their position. Baker then suggested Dacus meet Los Angeles-born Bridgers – another friend from the road going through the same thing. The email book club widened to three, and still stands today. On her bookshelves back home in LA, Bridgers keeps a “Lucy section.”

“So when I come visit her, I can pick out my own books,” Dacus says.

According to the piece, the initial boygenius tour in 2018 — in which each artist played their own set, followed by a headlining performance together as boygenius — was actually the impetus for starting the band:

When they were booked for a triple-bill tour in late 2018, they decided to record a 7in single to sell on the merchandise table. It was the first time they had all been in the same room, but over a handful of days in the studio they turned out six songs. The idea of becoming a band took shape. They called themselves Boygenius – a nod to how often male egotism is recast as creative brilliance – and released their self-titled EP that October.

The story also talks about preemptively going to therapy together to avoid the usual touring-band dysfunctions, and there are lots of great quotes from all three members regarding their bond, their approach to songwriting, and more.

In other boygenius news, today the band announced advance listening events for the record at independent record stores around the world. The sessions will take place this Tuesday, March 28, three days before the album’s release. Find details here.

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