If you really want to understand the supergroup Boygenius, watch the music video for “Not Strong Enough,” the fourth single from their debut album, The Record.
In it, the singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker distill in just under four minutes the whole essence of friendships in your 20s—and they do so without a massive production budget, actors, or a sweeping narrative arc. In fact, the whole thing was filmed on an iPhone in a little over a day.
The bandmates took turns filming each other doing “hooligan shit” (Baker’s words) around Los Angeles, with stops at the Santa Monica Pier amusement park, an arcade, and a museum. While the concept (“women laughing”) may sound contrived, their genuine love for one another transcends the screen, infecting the viewer with secondhand joy. Watching the video feels like watching the outtakes of your favorite ensemble TV show, where all the actors are friends in real life. Three besties, just hanging out.
Or, as Dacus put it so eloquently, “We dead-wifed each other.”
“We realized that it’s like the dead-wife trope in movies where you have the flashbacks of her cooking or being at the beach,” she says. The boys, as they call each other, begin bantering back and forth, referencing high school AV clubs and amateur music videos shot on digital cameras and posted to YouTube—a specific slice of time that only children born in the mid-’90s will understand. “I did [a music video] for the song ‘Now That We’re Done’ by Metro Station,” admits Baker sheepishly. "
To speak with Glamour, Dacus, who is based in Philadelphia, and Baker, based in Tennessee, share one Zoom square, phoning in from an Airbnb in LA. Bridgers, though in the same city as her bandmates, calls from the home she shares with her pug, Maxine. The trio are most engaged when they’re speaking to one another, and that’s just fine with me. To be a fourth party on the Zoom feels like both a privilege and an intrusion. As if the coolest girls in your high school invited you to sit with them and you’re just happy to bask in the glow of their intelligence, their shared stories, their laughter.