Posts Tagged ‘Historian’

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Last summer just a few weeks after Dacus’s highly anticipated LP Historian was released on Matador Records, the Richmond, Va.-based singer/guitarist and her band descended on SXSW for an incredible 17 sets. It was a remarkable feat, especially considering the emotional power packed into Dacus’s music. Here is a major leap forward in just a few short years. Dacus is one of the brightest young songwriters in music right now. Live performances of songs like “Night Shift” and “Pillar of Truth” carried the same impact as they do on Historian, even without the horns and string sections that appear on that remarkable record.

At just 23, Lucy Dacus is well beyond her years. One listen to her sophomore record Historian and you’ll know. The album is a deep meditation on loss and redemption, filled with stories from Dacus’ past and surrounded by crunchy guitars and distortion, a la PJ Harvey and the Pixies. “A lot of the songs revert back to very specific moments, but I didn’t write [them] in the moment,” she says. “They just came out over time the way that they did. There wasn’t this immediate translation from life to song.” Dacus grew up in Richmond, Va., surrounding herself with music her whole life. She started singing early on as a child, graduating to church choir soon after. In middle school, she bought a guitar and started learning chords and, in high school, she finally took the plunge and started writing her own music. After high school, she got the courage to start playing live in front of people. Her first album, 2016’s No Burden, was recorded super lo-fi—no recording budget, no expectations, no fans to consider. She issued it via Richmond upstart label EggHunt Records and it gained the attention of Matador Records, who re-released it, propping her up onto an international stage just like that. When it came time to write Historian, a newfound pressure existed, and she says that an ever-present feeling loomed throughout the recording process. “There’s a responsibility now,” she says. “I don’t take it lightly. It’s not necessarily stressful, but it is a weight.” Dacus’ extreme confessions on songs like “Night Shift,” “Body to Flame” and “Pillar of Truth” are Historian album highlights, but it’s clear that the whole thing has an emotional heft to it that you don’t hear often with early twenty-somethings. “It’s really normal to be anxious,” she says. “There are these immediate pressures— politically, culturally, and within my family or friend groups—[and] there seems to be a lot of confusion in my life. That comes through on the album as me trying to maintain hope throughout those things. I would feel like a failure if that didn’t come through.”

Lucy Dacus is done thinking small. Two years after her 2016 debut, No Burden, won her unanimous acclaim as one of rock’s most promising new voices, Dacus returned with Historian, a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent. It finds her unafraid to take on the big questions — the life-or-death reckonings, and the ones that just feel that way. It’s a record full of bracing realizations, tearful declarations and moments of hard-won peace, expressed in lyrics that feel destined for countless yearbook quotes and first tattoos.
“This is the album I needed to make,” says Dacus, who views Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. “Everything after this is a bonus.”

Lucy Dacus, Historian

A long and hectic, albeit fruitful, year is just getting going for 22-year-old Lucy Dacus, following the March 2nd release of what is decidedly her breakthrough LP, Historian, on Matador Records. Where her first LP, No Burden showcased her talent for embedding meditative lyrics inside approachable rock songs, Historian is a major artistic stride.

If you’ve ever picked a scab and felt pacified watching the slow bleeding, you’ll know the strange satisfaction of revisiting wounds that won’t heal. I began listening to Lucy Dacus’ Historian while mourning a relationship that was long dead. Its painful dissolution symbolized something more difficult: a loss of youthful idealism, a growing weariness with the world around me. The 22-year-old Dacus has a knack for distilling feelings that, while universal, feel denser at this age. Her evocative, tightly-wound lines unravel the messiness of human emotion: “I feel no need to forgive, but I might as well / Let me kiss your lips, so I know how it felt,” she sings on “Night Shift,” her sweet voice cleaving cleanly through the complexities she’s laid bare. It’s an album that allows you to surrender to your most vulnerable self, sober and unguarded

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“Night Shift,” the opener on Lucy Dacus’s sophomore LP, is a scorching kiss-off to an unworthy ex that starts quietly and builds slowly. Dacus sings softly at first, her dark, honeyed voice gaining momentum as the acoustic guitar picks up support from bass, drums and then, two-thirds of the way through, an overdriven electric guitar that punches through the facade of calm as Dacus lets her voice loose. “Addictions” is no less impactful: chiming guitar at the start rolls into a chugging riff on the refrain, punctuated by a huge brass fanfare that immediately retreats—and never exactly repeats. The genius of the song is the way Dacus steers it in unexpected directions, the horns circling her voice here and veering off on their own there in a way that makes the tune take flight. It’s a talent she demonstrates throughout Historian.

Watch Lucy Dacus perform a few new songs from her new album ‘Historian’ at the PledgeHouse day stage. The extraordinary singer songwriter Lucy Dacus, is one of the most heavily-buzzed acts playing Austin this week. Some artists just have a presence, captivating listeners from the first note, and Lucy Dacus is very much among them. Whether her songs come in a quiet wash or a rocking churn, her powerful and expressive voice cuts like an airplane wing through atmosphere, pulling the music up and up and up. Songs like “Night Shift” — the title track to her new album Historian reward the attention with uneasy, engaging lyrics.

You might not have caught the buzz for Lucy Dacus’s superb released 2016 album ‘No Burden,’ but you’d have to have your head in the sand to miss the wild anticipation for her sophomore LP ‘Historian.’ Her lilting and confessional brand of indie-rock will make for a riveting live set.

Historian is a record that’s great for introspection and Thinking About Your Life™, but it’s also the perfect kind of music for a late afternoon outdoor set in Texas, Lucy Dacus’s music can feel like a bit of a slow burn, but the layered, aching guitars sound like they’re a lost recording session from every influential guitarist from the 90s. It’s great.

Songs performed: 0:57 Historians 4:22 Nonbeliever 12:55 Body to Flame 16:32 I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore

Lucy Dacus Shares Second <i>Historian</i> Single, the Anthemic "Addictions"

Historian, will be the sophomore album from Richmond, Va. native Lucy Dacus, counting down the days until its March release. Our anticipation has only intensified with the release of “Addictions,” the second single from Dacus’ impending record.

The second track on Historian, “Addictions” is an honest, horn-assisted anthem, accompanied by a video directed by the singer-songwriter herself. Dacus, a former film student, was able to put her cinematic skills to use in the making of the video, in part a love letter to her native Richmond. A nameless protagonist explores the city, viewing it through a magical, black-and-white frame while reflecting upon her past. This visual device separates the reality of the present (the world of color) from the fantasies of the past (the black-and-white world), reinforcing the central idea of “Addictions”—how we come to rely upon substances, activities, places or people, and how hard it can be to leave them in the past. “You’ve got addictions too, it’s true,” Dacus insists as the song crescendos, forcing each one of us to look inward and take stock of all we’re holding on to.

Historian is out on March 2nd via Matador Records. You can revisit the album’s initial announcement—and its superlative first single, “Night Shift”

“Night Shift,” the first single off Lucy Dacus’s sophomore album and first for Matador Records, “Historian”, opens with the lyrics, “the first time I tasted somebody else’s spit, I had a coughing fit.” With this very quotable line she embarks upon her first breakup song, and it bodes very well for the album to come.

After making a big impression with her 2016 indie folk debut, No Burden, Lucy worked again with producer Collin Pastore for her new album. Noted producer and engineer John Congleton did the mixing. Lucy also impressed us live with her stage presence and tight band, and we named her one of the best new(ish) rock bands of 2016. I know it seems absurd and headline-grabbing, but honestly this song is going to be the high bar to hit for guitar-driven, brokenhearted love songs in the coming year. We’ve been looking forward to the new album, and with what we’ve heard so far, it promises to be a worthy one.

This stunning song will be the opening track to Lucy Dacus‘ second album, Historian. The track runs the span of musical emotion from frail to fierce, clocking in at almost 6:32. “Night Shift” is filled with a helpful heaping of resentment: “You don’t deserve what you don’t respect/Don’t deserve what you say you love and then neglect.”

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We’ve been waiting a long while to write these words: Lucy Dacus has announced her sophomore album. “Historian” is due out on March 2nd via Matador Records, and with its unveiling, Dacus has shared her first-ever breakup song, the devastating “Night Shift.” .  Night Shift is a six and half minute opus, moving from gently strummed guitar and dulcet vocals to a distorted, throbbing, emotional crescendo. It also opens with possibly our favourite line of the year so far, “The first time I tasted somebody else’s spit, I had a coughing fit”.

“Night Shift,” Historian’s opening track, is a scathing ode to an unfaithful lover. “Don’t hold your breath. Forget you ever saw me at my best,” commands Dacus. “You don’t deserve what you don’t respect.” Nowhere near content with being neglected, Dacus is so driven to put the past behind her that she takes the titular night shift: “You got a 9 to 5, so I’ll take the night shift / and I’ll never see you again if I can help it.” It’s no less ferocious for Dacus’ delicate delivery.

The Richmond-based indie singer songwriter was among the best new artists of 2016, her debut LP “No Burden” made our top albums of last year and the album opener “I Don’t Want to Be Funny Anymore” was lauded in the top 2016’s best songs. Needless to say, Historian, produced by Collin Pastore in Nashville and mixed by Grammy winner John Congleton, is one of our most anticipated albums of 2018.

“This is the album I needed to make,” says Dacus, who sees Historian as her definitive statement as a songwriter and musician. “Everything after this is a bonus.”

Listen to “Night Shift” below

From the new album ‘Historian’ out March 2nd on Matador Records