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Lucy Dacus - Home Video (Album Review)

Wednesday, 30 June 2021 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Nostalgia for one’s teenage years might also be accompanied by the feeling that your teeth are on edge, with the syrupy goodness of reminiscing offset by the many false starts, awkward pauses and permanent endings of youth. 

Onto this thorny ground strides Lucy Dacus’s third LP ‘Home Video’, a startling work that accepts this reality while updating it with a wonderful soundtrack of empathetic, searching indie-rock.

With time and understanding on her side Dacus winds the clock back to her adolescence in Raleigh, North Carolina, passing the viewfinder over so that we can understand the knotty feelings, self-discovery and vivid emotions of the time.

Where her debut skewed scrappy and its follow-up ‘Historian’ prioritised the thumping power of her guitars, here Dacus voyages into warm synths and crisp heartland rock, delivering cutting, vivid lyrics with a majestic, controlled vocal performance. 

On songs such as the plaintive ballad Christine she allows just enough space for her point to land with unexpected force: “I'd rather lose my dignity than lose you to somebody who won't make you happy.” But when the time comes to rough up the edges, ‘Home Video’ has plenty in its locker. First Time has fuzz to spare, while VBS trades loping folk-rock for cavernous distortion at the drop of a single Slayer mention. 

And still, the biggest strength on the side of ‘Home Video’ is its sense of poise. Dacus is never too far from a lilting hook, and she has the fortitude to let them play out without a moment of grandstanding. On Brando, for instance, she rolls out two or three lines that would be forced front and centre and bludgeoned in other hands. 

There is a sense that, like a developing music taste, Dacus is happy to jump around and keep the listener on their toes. ‘Home Video’ is metatextual, in a way, as long as we’re willing to accept that the second text is an autobiography we’re discovering in real time.

Lucy Dacus Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri March 18 2022 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Sun March 20 2022 - GLASGOW Saint Luke's
Mon March 21 2022 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Wed March 23 2022 - MANCHESTER Manchester Gorilla
Thu March 24 2022 - BRISTOL SWX
Fri March 25 2022 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town

Compare & Buy Lucy Dacus Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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