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Boygenius Share Wholesome Video For “Not Strong Enough”

Boygenius is back with the fourth single “Not Strong Enough” from their forthcoming album, the record, set to drop on March 31. “Not Strong Enough” follows masterfully written and produced records “$20,” “Emily I’m Sorry,” and “True Blue.” Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers create magic together with ease, and the singles create suspense around the new LP. 

Boygenius release new single "Not Strong Enough"
boygenius. Photo: Instagram @xboygeniusx. (Photographer: @ryanpfluger x @supervision_agency)

The Meaning Behind “Not Strong Enough”

Bridgers tells Rolling Stone about the significance behind the song stating:

“Being like, ‘I’m not strong enough to show up for you. I can’t be the partner that you want me to be.’ But also being like, ‘I’m too fucked up. I’m unknowable in some deep way!’ Self-hatred is a god complex sometimes, where you think you’re the most fucked-up person who’s ever lived. Straight up, you’re not. And it can make people behave really selfishly, and I love each of our interpretations of that concept.”

Bridgers is incapable of being the kind of lover her partner needs, and she enters a cycle of self-loathing. In turn that causes her to act selfishly and sabotage the relationship.

“The way I am / Not strong enough to be your man / I tried, I can’t / I lied, I am / Just lowering your expectations.”

In depth, Phoebe discloses to Rolling Stone that this line was inspired by the 1994 single “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow. boygenius addresses the societal notions of what it means to be a woman. Further on the bridge Dacus repeats:

“Always an angel, never a god / Always an angel, never a god / Always an angel, never a god / Always an angel, never a god…”

This explores the socially constructed idea that women cannot be “gods.” There is an expectation that women should be “angelic” and pure beings. Society places judgment and expectations on women regarding their looks, sexuality, occupation and roles in the world. Women have always been deemed inferior to men. Even more, the band’s name ‘boygenius’ is satire because the members are all women. But they challenge these sexist notions and compel us to critically analyze them. 

The Wholesome Music Video

A contributing factor of their natural chemistry is boygenius’ genuine friendship. The “Not Strong Enough” music video shot by Bridgers brother Jackson, captures the bandmates spending a day in Southern California. boygenius embarks on a slew of adventures from frolicking at an amusement park, to a museum, playing mini golf, then ending with a bonfire on the beach. 

Though the music video is positive and uplifting, the lyrics in “Not Strong Enough” are complex and sees a vulnerable side of boygenius. The rock cut is about experiencing self-hatred and that resulting in forming an ego or a “god complex.” 

“Black hole opened in the kitchen / Every clock’s a different time / It would only take the energy to fix it / I don’t know why I am,” Bridgers opens the track. When the power goes out, the room turns pitch black. Phoebe metaphorically references that sensation by saying her clocks are now on different times following a power outage. 

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