boygenius, the supergroup among the top Grammy nominees, performs onstage during the All Things Go music festival in Columbia, Maryland in October 2023 -- part of their successful tour / © AFP/File
Cream, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Audioslave, The Highwaymen -- the music industry is full of storied supergroups comprised, mostly, of men.
But it's 2024, and boygenius has entered the chat.
The indie rockers are up for six Grammys at Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles, and member Phoebe Bridgers has a seventh nod for her collaboration with top nominee SZA.
Like many a supergroup before them, boygenius recently announced they're going on hiatus and returning to solo work -- but that's after an exceptional year on the road together.
And on Sunday, they'll get to celebrate.
Boygenius members Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus met as up-and-comers in the indie music scene and, tired of constant comparisons to each other as "women in rock," decided to join forces while continuing to produce solo work.
The creative venture turned into a winning bet: the trio amassed a loyal fan base with their 2018 eponymous EP, a debut -- hits included the arresting "Salt In The Wound" and the wrenching slow burn "Me & My Dog" -- that fused their distinct songwriting and styles to create, in a word, magic.
Calling the work "astonishing," music outlet NME gave the extended play a perfect critical score, writing it "serves as a reminder of each musician's particular powers -- Bridgers' ability to spin haunting, poetic folk-pop out of beautiful simplicity; Dacus' sage and, often, wry indie-rock; and Baker's dramatic, emo-tinged exorcisms of emotion."
Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker of boygenius have declared a hiatus for the supergroup -- but Grammys night will celebrate their success / © AFP/File
The artists played a handful of tour dates before peeling off to focus on solo albums.
They each found individual success, in particular the 29-year-old Bridgers, who found growing mainstream fame with the 2020 album "Punisher," which featured the hit single "Kyoto," and a smash tour.
But fans and music journalists weren't having it: wanting more of the group's transcendent harmonies, they asked constantly for a reunion and a full studio album.
The band eventually got back together and gave in to the hype, announcing "the record" would be released in March 2023.
It was an instant hit and propelled boygenius on an in-demand tour that featured multiple festival appearances including at Coachella, which marked their first performances since the album's release.
The group also appeared on the Eras Tour of none other than Taylor Swift, who called boygenius' album "genuinely a masterpiece."
- Mutual obsession -
Phoebe Bridgers of US indie group boygenius has also found particular success as a solo artist / © AFP/File
The group's work captures the ravages of heartache with eerie, melancholic tones that ascend into anthemic choruses with cathartic peaks.
But their personas both onstage and off are winky and playful -- three artists who write songs, crack jokes, and simply get along.
"We're obsessed with each other. I like myself better around them," Bridgers has said.
They opened each set on their rollicking tour with "The Boys Are Back in Town" -- the mid-1970s Thin Lizzy track -- and a nod to their name, which is a commentary on their negative experiences in an industry, and a world, that has historically prioritized the work of men.
"Men are taught to be entitled to space and that their ideas should be heard because they're great ideas and women are taught the opposite," Bridgers told Vogue.
"A 'boygenius' is someone who their whole life has been told that their ideas are genius."
Julien Baker of boygenius says the band does not want to be weighed down with labels and identifiers / © AFP/File
And one of the group's great annoyances is the suggestion that they are remarkable by virtue of being women, or because they all identify as queer.
"Something that's been really important to us is to be able to exist like any other band: to make a sick song and have that not be weighted because of all these extraneous identifiers that we work within," the 28-year-old Baker told Rolling Stone last year.
In the same cover story, Dacus -- also 28 -- said working as a trio allowed the artists to be "able to commiserate about the less enjoyable aspects of this job... we have a shared experience that is not shared by a lot of other people in our lives."
Unlike many stars who put their careers and fan bases over rocking the boat, the members of boygenius wear their politics on their sleeves, routinely speaking out on transgender and abortion rights.
Lucy Dacus of boygenius shown here performing at Coachella 2023 / © AFP
In 2023, when Barack Obama added their song "Not Strong Enough" to his annual music recommendations, Dacus' response was less than thrilled: "war criminal," she tweeted, likely referring to criticism the former president faced for authorizing deadly drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year, boygenius members had said they'd walk Grammy red carpets if they received nominations, with Dacus saying she's "kind of a bitch for spectacle."
They've got six chances locked in: let's hear it for the boys.