Boygenius is finally back with a debut LP, “the record,” released on March 31. The American indie supergroup consists of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, all of whom are successful solo artists with passionate fanbases. Following the release of their self-titled debut EP “boygenius,” supporters of each musician were delighted to see the collaboration of the three individuals’ strengths, as well as witness the forming of a new collective in the process.

The theme of togetherness is key in “the record” since the trio’s chemistry on display maintains a similar, palpable sense of interconnectedness, perhaps best displayed within the final minute of the track “$20.” The omnipresent, ethereal nature of each song often juxtaposes itself diametrically with creeping waves of darkness — a testament to the songwriting talent all three possess. Baker’s rough vocals especially serve as a raw gateway to Dacus’ heart-wrenching tenderness. Bridgers channels her trademark melancholic tone throughout, providing a bridge that guides the transitioning of the project’s many tones with grace. The multiple mood shifts and pacing mirror the constant range of emotions that arise on a first listen.

An apex point of “the record” in terms of palpability must be awarded to the bridge on “Not Strong Enough,” which consists of one repeated lyric in particular: “Always an angel / never a god”. This hymn-like, angelic chorus functions as both a catharsis and a transition, with this mutually exclusive employment only further deepening the connection between each song.

Despite the group’s lovely, gentle meshing of their respective styles, equal emphasis is placed on the individual. Each member manages to place their stamp on the project, as longtime listeners cannot help but feel some familiarity from their earlier works. Bridgers’ soft timbre hearkens itself back to her debut LP “Stranger in the Alps,” which is incomplete without the Elliot Smith inspiration, of course. The bridge on the final track, “Letter To An Old Poet,” is a definite ode to a fan favorite from the EP, “Me and My Dog”: “I wanna be happy / I’m ready to walk into my room without lookin’ for you / I’ll go up to the top of our building / And remember my dog when I see the full moon.”

The former examples are a small part of the album’s meta-like structuring, as old personal feelings are juxtaposed alongside the past’s inevitable collision with the future. Having the time to embrace all emotions, from dejection to euphoria, parallels the universal human experience, ultimately guiding our hearts to open up. This self-referentiality serves as a simultaneous acknowledgment of both once-private struggles and encouragement for listeners who may be similarly struggling. Themes of mental health, relationships, feminism and religion are all prominent throughout, often intertwined together. Similar subjects also feature in Dacus’ “Historian” and Baker’s “Turn Out the Lights,” with the lyrics working to empower rather than lecture the listener, a sentiment that is shared in “the record.” Baker’s intense attention to the subjects she writes about adds a degree of seriousness, creating a perfect thematic balance in the process.

Hauntingly beautiful to its core, the album’s emotional resonance is widespread, with shorter lyrics being as rich as songs that focus on storytelling, demonstrated within the layered lyrics of “Emily I’m Sorry.” Tracks such as this craft the subtle atmosphere created by the project, beckoning those who want to embrace their feelings to come closer.

The production takes a back seat on the less varied tracks, with the potent vocals and songwriting sometimes overshadowing the more simple folk instrumentals. However, this complements the artistic prowess already exhibited and guides the focus on where it should be — in the singing itself. Guitar and its ambiguous qualities in particular are utilized to the fullest. This may upset some purists, but those with esoteric taste will appreciate the ambition.

The album’s release was also accompanied by a short film, aptly named “the film”, in which combines three music videos for the singles released months prior. Actress Kristen Stewart’s direction style is simple yet soothing, emphasizing the richness of color and the coziness of home. All three members are highlighted in their respective chapters, granting the viewer an opportunity to peer through memories seemingly both real and imagined. This choice is a soft reminder that the past will linger; one’s future is what should be looked at.

Although the process of healing is painful, this channeling of hurt into hope is integral. Unabashedly proud of their sexuality, a certain muted reverence forms between the director and the subjects, enabling a blooming portrayal of love rooted in a core of wholesomeness to form. Embracing truth, no matter how difficult it may be, is at the forefront of both projects, making its message clear: all will be remedied with the passage of time and the growth of oneself. Sometimes, you get by with a little help from your friends.

Verdict: Boygenius’ almost 5-year-long gap between releases grants them the opportunity to further bolster their distinct and creative indie folk sound, resulting in a wonderful, heartfelt album.