It makes perfect sense that Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus would end up collaborating. Dacus and Baker are Matador labelmates, for one, while Baker and Bridgers are past tourmates, and the three of them each capture an emotional intimacy that, ironically, makes their records seem that much bigger. Having heard a sold-out crowd go silent at one of Bridgers’ headlining shows earlier this year put that idea into practice—theirs is music that cuts deep enough to leave a listener speechless. But they’re also stellar songwriters and singers at that, and the three-part harmonies in new track “Me & My Dog,” one of the new singles released as boygenius, are utterly heavenly.
Bridgers takes the lead during the verses on “Me & My Dog,” and there’s a melancholy recollection of a new relationship, phrased with Bridgers’ characteristic cleverness: “I had a fever until I met you/Now you make me feel cool.” It’s when her bandmates come in, however, that the song takes on a new life, their combined voices building the song up into a personal narrative that makes airing the hurt seem like a spiritual experience. They harmonize, “I cried at your show with the teenagers/Tell your friend I’ll be alright/In the morning it won’t matter,” and while the circumstances aren’t spelled out, the feelings are relatable and real. But it helps to have a couple of friends to help sing you through it.
From boygenius, out November 9 via Matador.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.