Album of the Week: Lucy Dacus | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 24th, 2024  

Album of the Week: Lucy Dacus

Historian Out Now via Matador

Mar 02, 2018 Moaning Bookmark and Share

Debate the credibility of the term “indie” all you want-but even in today’s landscape of monolithic labels and bustling support crews, we still expect the independent artist to follow their own vision. To say, then, that rising star Lucy Dacus may have almost single-handedly penned a cinematic masterpiece in Historian shouldn’t surprise you that much. After all, 2016’s No Burden already proved her uncanny knack of documenting human behavior with impeccable melody and grit. Rather, what makes her sophomore album so extraordinary-and ergo, our album of the week-is how, behind those unshakably catchy hooks and ripping riffs, lies rather quotidian truths and trials that we tend to ignore.

Of course, we wouldn’t be here without the sheer star power of those songs. Already you can hear crowds clamoring for “Addictions” or “Next of Kin,” with their perfectly pitched build-ups and refrains that listeners want to latch onto. And while Dacus and her crew had already explored dynamic territory with “Map on a Wall,” she pushes into the stratosphere with “Timefighter,” which explodes from Song: Ohia-like blues into an aural supernova.

More importantly, though, Dacus can take those golden melodies and pack in dense subjects that resonate. Even the most prosaic of lifestyles can leave us powerless and confused, wrecked and lost; Historian acknowledges this openly, and offers balm for our hidden wounds. “Nonbeliever” wishes well the seekers who can’t fit in with the complacent masses; “The Shell” empathizes with fellow artists who feel hollowed out from their endeavors; “Next of Kin” coaxes us to contemplate mortality with the playfulness of Frankie Cosmos. And while “Yours and Mine” might bounce like a deep cut from the Judds, Dacus encourages activism here, rallying against “those of you who told me I should stay indoors.”

No doubt, Dacus has earned her spot in the limelight. Even after the solid tunes hook you in, Historian digs its hooks deep as you listen over and over to unravel its multifaceted consolation. And that, ultimately, is why the term “indie” still applies-for, no matter what helpers the artist recruits, their independent path can carry a power. Dacus knows this, and has crafted a record to express exactly what she needs to say, with the staying power to say that to packed crowds for years to come.

Lucy Dacus Tour Dates:

March 2nd Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
March 7th Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
March 8th Charleston, SC @ Pour House
March 9th Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
March 10th Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
March 19th Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
March 20th Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
March 21st San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
March 22nd Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
March 23rd Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
March 24th San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
March 26th Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
March 27th Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
March 28th Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
March 30th Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
March 31st Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
April 2nd Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
April 4th Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
April 5th Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
April 6th Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
April 7th Indianapolis, IN @ The HI-FI
April 8th Columbus, OH @ The Basement
April 9th Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
April 11th Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
April 13th Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
April 14th Washington DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
April 19th Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall
April 20th Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
April 21st Manchester, UK @ Gullivers
April 22nd Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds 2
April 24th Bristol, UK @ Louisiana
April 25th London, UK @ Omeara
April 26th Brighton, UK @ The Hope and Ruin
April 27th Paris, FR @ Espace B
April 30th Copenhagen, DE @ Stengade
May 1st Hamburg, GE @ Prinzenbar
May 3rd Cologne, GE @ Blue Shell
May 4th Amsterdam, NE @ Sugar Factory
June 14th-June 17th Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival

Read our 2016 Artist Survey interview with Lucy Dacus.

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

Ed Schrader’s Music Beat: Riddles (Carpark)

Gwenno: Le Kov (Heavenly)

Moaning: Moaning (Sub Pop)

Soccer Mommy: Clean (Fat Possum)

Anna von Hausswolff: Dead Magic (City Slang)

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