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Song of the Year: boygenius, ‘Not Strong Enough’

Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker (Credit: Harrison Whitford)

Arriving five years after a one-off EP and short promotional tour, the debut album from this trio comprised of indie-leaning singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker was one of the most anticipated of 2023. Fulfilling the supergroup promise, the record didn’t disappoint, thanks to its breezy three-part harmonies and vulnerable lyrics. With its strident acoustic strumming and pangs of self-doubt (“I don’t know why I am the way I am”), “Not Strong Enough” perfectly encapsulates boygenius’ sound and message. Thematically, the song seems to address inferiority complexes and how to manage your own expectations and emotions while dealing with your own shit (“Always an angel / Never a God”). This feeling of uncertainty is universally relatable, a quality that propelled boygenius to unlikely mainstream visibility and an eye-popping eight Grammy nominations this year.