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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 26, 2024

Madeleine Aitken


Indie-rock trio boygenius wows once again with ‘the record’

In 2018, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker were three artists just getting started. Dacus and Baker had out two albums each: Dacus’ “No Burden” (2016) and “Historian” (2018) and Baker’s “Sprained Ankle” (2015) and “Turn Out the Lights” (2017), and Bridgers had released her debut “Stranger in the Alps” (2017) the year before. All are incredible singers and songwriters in their own right, but when they came together and released a self-titled EP under the name “boygenius,” their true magic was realized. In their solo work, their lyrics hit on similar themes — one might say they’re all the ‘yearning’ type — but they all have individualized sounds and styles, which makes their collective music work so well.


Tennis brings love to the House of Blues

Romance between band members is a tale as old as time — as old as music, at least — and it usually doesn’t end well. Take ABBA, The Mamas and the Papas, The White Stripes or the ubiquitous Fleetwood Mac. But Tennis, an indie pop duo made up of husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, is a lovely exception who seem to have cracked the code to marriage and music. On tour for their sixth album, “Pollen” (2023), released on Feb. 10, they brought their ballads to the House of Blues on April 3. 


Fans 'surrender' to the magic of Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers exemplifies the dream-come-true star. Hailing from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, she grew up playing banjo and started writing songs in eighth grade. She went to NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and in 2016, she wrote “Alaska” in 15 minutes for a homework assignment. Pharrell Williams ended up being a surprise guest that day, and it was a random happenstance that he heard her song. But he loved it, a video of the interaction went viral and Rogers got a record deal. “Alaska” made it onto her 2019 album “Heard It in a Past Life,” and four years later, she’s now touring her 2022 album “Surrender.”


'High School' is an intimate, moving take on Tegan and Sara's 1990s adolescence

Three years after Canadian indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara released a memoir called “High School” (2019), a limited series by the same name debuted, receiving a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The show, which premiered this October, carries us through Tegan and Sara’s high school experiences. Set against the backdrop of an alternative adolescence in Calgary, Alberta, it tackles the ups and downs of their relationship as twin sisters alongside their journey into music and their queer identities, all while they learn how to be themselves. 


Tegan and Sara throw a (disjointed but semi-mature) tantrum on 'Crybaby'

Over the course of a career that has spanned nearly 25 years, Tegan and Sara have been through a lot, and their latest album “Crybaby” (2022) shows it. The Canadian indie pop duo released their first album, “Under Feet Like Ours” (1999), when they were a mere 18 years old. Since then, they’ve put out another nine albums, most recently “Crybaby” on Oct. 21. Over those decades, they’ve evolved from an Alanis Morissette-esque angsty pop-rock sound — “If It Was You” (2002) and “So Jealous” (2004) — to a more mature, poppish tone with “Heartthrob” (2013) and “Love You to Death” (2016). Their musical journey has been analogous with their journey of growing up out of high school adolescence and into adulthood, and now, having just celebrated their 42nd birthdays last month, they’re showing the most mature versions of themselves yet on “Crybaby.” 


‘Elvis’ doesn’t add much to the King’s life story, except Austin Butler

“Elvis” (2022) is, in a word, captivating. From his impoverished childhood in rural Mississippi where he discovered music, his adolescence in Memphis where he frequented Beale Street to his rise to stardom and subsequent crash and burn, “Elvis”takes us through the whole Elvis Presley story, but doesn’t add much to it. Baz Luhrmann, the famed director of “The Great Gatsby” (2013)  and “Moulin Rouge!” (2001), takes a whopping two hours and 39 minutes to tell us what could have mostly been gleaned from a five-minute skim of Presley’s Wikipedia page. Luhrmann does add color here and there, and it’s still a highly enjoyable watch — mainly for Austin Butler's performance as Presley, an excellent soundtrack and fantastic period costumes — but ultimately, “Elvis”falls short in expanding on the star’s life.

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