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Guest DJ: boygenius

Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker played a Tiny Desk Concert together as boygenius.
Bob Boilen
Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker played a Tiny Desk Concert together as boygenius.

If you don't know boygenius, there's a good chance you know at least one member of this trio, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. They've just released a self-titled EP.

We gathered in the studio here at NPR just moments after they finished their Tiny Desk Concert to talk about the music they love and listen to. In this conversation with these three talented songwriters, they talk about how they inspire one another and give each other confidence. Lucy Dacus says, "I associate Phoebe and Julien with having real strength in darkness. They're also very wise and funny people that I trust as people, not just artists. So I kind of did assume that it would be very easy to work with them. And it turned out that was right."

Individually they've all performed a Tiny Desk Concert in the past. In fact, Julien Baker is one of the artists who's done it twice before. We talk about the often nerve-wracking experience of playing in an office in daylight. I wondered if it was any easier having done it before, and the answer from all three was a resounding "no!" Lucy Dacus said, "I feel like every time I've been here I've just been blushing super hard and aware of my sinuses, like my nose has been running or my lips have been quivering, like there's a bunch of spit in my mouth. It's like this place just makes me flip." Phoebe Bridgers said that "it takes an entire scale off the top and the bottom of my range, the nerves." And for Julien Baker, "it's carpeted. It's in an office and also there's so many people so close to you. And so while the format is I guess kind of analogous to a house show, the sonic properties are different, which throws you off. It's more like a living room. This is something very quiet very intimate and I always get timid.

You can watch them perform three of those six songs in the NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert series. The one (and only) EP by boygenius is available on Matador.

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In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.