Visceral, vulnerable, and deeply emotive, ‘We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution’ captures the unapologetic spirit and fiery passion that make Boyish one of Brooklyn’s hottest acts.
Stream: “Superstar” – Boyish
If we can transport you into a coming-of-age movie, that is the ultimate goal.
Toeing a fine line between Mazzy Star and King Princess, Brooklyn band Boyish have long made their music an (intentional or unintentional) exploration of the intimate, the compelling, and the evocative; their first two albums encompassed both raw and finessed sonics, featuring a range from hushed whispers to guttural screams as the self-described “indie queer duo” found their footing and steadily honed a singular artistic voice.
Three years into their short, yet already enthralling career, Boyish have come alive on four uncompromising songs whose drama, verve, and dynamic energy instantly set them apart from 2021’s busy, bustling noise: Visceral, vulnerable, and deeply emotive, We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution captures the unapologetic spirit and fiery passion that make Boyish one of Brooklyn’s hottest acts.
You’re a superstar
Loves a girl who plays bass that’s cool
but I wish I was in her place
Go ahead and give me nothing
You’re a superstar
I might drown in the way
that I feel but I guess I’m just a fan
And sometimes I forget you’re real
and I know i’m too fucking sincere
But I gave my all, I gave my all
I want to be alone but if I didn’t I’d wanna be with you
– “Superstar,” Boyish
Independently released May 28 via AWAL, We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution arrives a year and change after Boyish’s spectacular sophomore LP Garden Spider (previously described by the band as “a declaration of Big Gay Sadness”). The duo of India Shore and Claire Altendahl, Boyish was formed “after feeling the need to start over, graduating college, and having no idea what is going on.” Their music is hypnotically contemplative – full of space, lush guitars, and vivid lyricism. Shore’s gorgeous, aching vocals help make every song an enchanting listening experience, but it’s Shore and Altendahl’s stunning chemistry that ultimately makes Boyish’s music so special: They dress their songs in just enough timbres and tonalities to evoke what they want us to feel, and nothing more. Unassuming yet limitless in its expression, Garden Spider truly is a work of art – as is Boyish’s new record.
“This was a quarantine album for sure,” Boyish’s Claire Altendahl tells Atwood Magazine. “We started writing these songs in the beginning of April; India was quarantined in Brooklyn and I was in Minnesota at the time so we had to send voice memos back and forth to work on some ideas. We really wrote the bulk of the EP when India came to Minnesota in July and we started working on the ideas we had over the last couple of months.”
We wanted to just create a little world of songs, to have these songs create an environment and story that you can step into.
Dark and stormy, intimately soothing and utterly revealing, We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution is a soul-baring 12-minute confessional journey.
Boyish’s radiant songs ache with reflections on place, purpose, connection, time, and being From explorations of desire and identity to reckonings through friendship and loss, We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution builds a world around its listeners, enveloping us in sweet sounds and bittersweet lyrics that compel us to dive deeper not only into the band, but also into ourselves.
“The title came to me while I was on lunch break during my quarantine job,” Altendahl says. “I worked at a landscape supply yard over the summer during the pandemic and I really wanted to be anywhere else in the world when I was at work. I was driving and stuck at this red light thinking about the music we were working on and the title popped through my head. It sounds so dramatic but I was wondering what my purpose was working this job that I hated and felt like didn’t add up to anything at the end of the day, and realized it’s all kind of pointless anyway so I’ll just write a song and call that my contribution to society.”
“This is the most honest music we’ve ever made,” she adds. “I think having so much time everyday let us reflect and find out who we actually are. I think one thing that really changed is that we don’t try to hide things in our lyrics or tuck away something in a flashy metaphor.”
This EP is about queer love and self sabotage and coming of age. We tried to make every part of every song evoke some sort of emotion and really took our time to make something that shows our hearts.
Stripping their hearts down to the core before building everything back up again, Boyish embrace both anxiety and catharsis like they’re two distant, long-lost friends. From start to finish, the band captivate through arresting vocal melodies, mesmerizing harmonies, and colorful, catchy guitar lines that hook, line, and sink our ears into stunned rapture. The journey opens on a vivid high with “Superstar,” a dreamy indulgence whose pulsing beats and tender, in-your-face vocals create a sense of relaxed urgency: An explosive energy masked by a tense, tranquilizing calm. The band’s lyrics are hypnotizing; they use the fan-artist relationship to dive into the depths of connection, unrequited feelings, and the emotional vastness of a turbulent psyche. Atwood Magazine previously described “Superstar” as “a sweetly seductive indie pop enchantment,” praising the band for “another rousing, expressive reminder of Boyish’s undeniable excellence.”
You’re a superstar
Dream about you when I’m biking down
the 5 a couple hours past midnight
And I hate that u don’t know me
And I miss you on the weekend
I’d pick you over my friends
Getting dizzy in my head sets
I swear I’ll say the wrong thing
And I miss you on the weekends
I’d pick you over my best friend
Getting dizzy in my head set
Swear I’ll say the wrong thing
But the soulfully sweet energies and buoyant electric guitar swells don’t end there; the dynamic, ever-churning “whatshisname” offers solace and emotional indulgence within its dreamy waves, and the heavy-hearted “Your Best Friend” brings out an ever-present long-distance pain that both is and isn’t a beautiful, touching metaphor: “It’s about being hidden in a gay relationship,” Altendahl explains, “and struggling between understanding why someone is scared to show you and wanting to be seen.”
You only call when you’re alone
We didn’t know
Couldn’t talk you were ice cold
Tell me “find a stranger” but nothing hurts more
There you go I’m not your girlfriend
We wasted nights
Pretending not to kiss when we walk home
Your friends are shitty and it’s starting to show
Do you wish you never met me?
I cry more than I used to
Two years older, two years sober
Take me to the airport call me from the platform
Beg you to come with me but you don’t leave the city
Spent Good Friday at the arcade, racing cars
Read my last rites then went home
Said summer coming made you feel even more alone
Boyish close out their EP with “Howls,” another palpable upheaval with a cinematic scope – again, literally and figuratively. Altendahl found inspiration in the 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film Howl’s Moving Castle. The band’s music video splices intimate, up-close shots of Boyish with film footage:
“‘Howls’ was first shot over the summer in Minnesota last year,” the band recalls. “Claire was quarantining in their hometown of Eagan and India traveled there halfway through the summer to work on the new EP. During that time we decided to go to a horse ranch about 10 minutes outside of the city and film ourselves singing the track. We never fully finished the video and picked it back up after relocating permanently to Brooklyn in 2021. Our dear friend Eli Edwards, who also shot, directed and edited both videos for ‘Superstar’ and ‘whatshisname’, grabbed his camera and placed us up on a rooftop in front of a green screen to try to match the vibe of the Horse Ranch footage. We wanted to use little clips of ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and dressed up in our favorite corsets.”
The result of this seemingly haphazard process is a spectacularly emotive 2.5-minute outpouring that, like so much of Boyish’s music, sparks like magic in a bottle.
Find me in the future
Dont know why you had to go
Want to let your heart out
I don’t want to be alone
You should see me at my worst
No one sees the wind blow right through ya
It’s not fair you disappear
Do your dirty work when you’re not here
Pray you’ll stay, plan to go
You get so different when you feel this low
We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution doesn’t sugarcoat life, but Boyish’s does remind us of life’s innate beauty.
“Our biggest hope when we put out music is that it makes the listener feel like they are the main character,” Boyish share. “If we can transport you into a coming-of-age movie, that is the ultimate goal.”
“We’ve also learned so much from making this EP: We learned how to be emotionally vulnerable and not write music that we think will sound cool, but something that really means something to us.”
Join Boyish on a musical adventure that’s as heart-wrenching as it is heart-warming; as cool as it is heated; as painful as it is euphoric. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Boyish’s We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution EP with Atwood Magazine as India Shore and Claire Altendahl go track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their new release!
‘We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution’ – Boyish
:: Inside We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution ::
“Superstar” is written about having an undying love for a celebrity. It is about the intensity of loving someone you’ll never meet and someone who doesn’t even know you exist. Musically it was inspired by “Bags” by Clairo and “Disappear” by Beabadoobee.
“whatshisname” is a cross between the War On Drugs and “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen. This song was written as a stream of consciousness about working a job you hate and missing someone who used to be in your life. Musically we were inspired by Girl in Red’s production.
“Your Best Friend”
“Your Best Friend” is about a long distance relationship and leaving someone you love at the airport. It’s about being hidden in a gay relationship and struggling between understanding why someone is scared to show you and wanting to be seen. Phoebe Bridgers was a major influence for this track.
“Howls” was written about the film Howl’s Moving Castle. This was one of the first songs we wrote during quarantine and found inspiration in movies because there wasn’t much happening in our lives at the time, a lot of our emotions came from other places. We wanted it to feel sonically like we were in the meadow with Howl as he eats a fallen star. It’s floaty and swirly yet rooted in something dark.
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