Posts Tagged ‘No Burden’

Lucy Dacus had an unfair advantage in getting our attention this year: Her debut album, No Burden, came out twice, first on Richmond’s tiny EggHunt Records in February, then on the venerable Matador in September. Recorded in one day in Nashville with a band that had just learned the songs, No Burden is not only a surprisingly assured album from a 21-year-old newcomer;


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“I thought you’d hit rock bottom, but I’m starting to think that it doesn’t exist,” Lucy Dacus sings on “Strange Torpedo,” the second single from her upcoming debut album, No Burden. “‘Cause you’ve been falling for so long, and you haven’t hit anything solid yet.” Trying to help someone you love who doesn’t want it — or is too blinded by their own vices to accept it — can be the most frustrating and disheartening situation in the world. Watching someone engage in unhealthy behavior is painful, and you’re powerless to do anything about it except wait until they (hopefully) come around.

Dacus takes on the role of a concerned friend, never directly confronting her loved one’s bad habits, but constantly playing out possible solutions to them in her own head — “I get tongue-tied every time I try to tell you what I think is right,” “I’m more surprised every time you’re alive when I check for breath in the morning.” Just like she did on her lead single I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” the Richmond, VA singer casts an all-knowing but hesitant eye, observational but passive. “You’re a strange torpedo on the loose/ And I’ll play the fool, I’ll play the fool,” Dacus reiterates in the chorus.


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Virginia singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus’s No Burden is astounding for two reasons. First off, this is the young artist’s debut album, but it is surprisingly genuine and mature. Second, she reimagines the indie folk and rock scene because she does not fall victim to the one-dimensional melancholic trope and rather opts for a frank and beautiful style. With her warm, dreamy voice, Dacus has an artful swagger and constructs wry and acute observations about her experiences. Accompanied by her mesmerizing guitar, Lucy Dacus bravely traverses and articulates the inner workings of her self in songs like “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” and “Map on a Wall.”


A self-described restless soul, Dacus is on a quest of endurance, “how to survive the bendin’ and breakin’.” With a breezy attitude, Dacus’ drops the “g’s” from “-ing” verbs in a charming manner, but she still maintains a modern elegance. All the while, No Burden has a tinge of optimism and hope, making it a gorgeous and insightful work.

Such a great voice, great songs. The album starts with more upbeat numbers but what makes the album so great are the ballads and lower-key songs


To be clear, Lucy Dacus’ No Burden was originally released by the small Richmond, Virginia-based label Egghunt earlier this year, and was just reissued by venerable indie Matador following much critical acclaim and a few successful cross-country tours. The extra push is nice, but Lucy Dacus’ songs possess enough timeless vigor that it’s tough to imagine them having been kept a secret for long. You will appreciate the quality of Lucy Dacus’ confessional songwriting, culled from acute observation and sleek homage to a universal truth on this sleek debut.

Lucy Dacus is a witty Singer Songwriter whose solo tunes have evolved into twangy indie rock slow-burners with help from the rest of her talented quintet. She began writing mostly for herself, but met up with like-minded players in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia who helped flesh out and grow her skeletal demos. Dacus is a soft-spoken, in-the-moment kind of player whose lyrics are open-ended but biographical. She possesses an acute observational focus, one that gifts her with the ability to tell stories that resonate with thoughtful universal truth.

Watch the full band performance of the session and fall into her poignant tales here on Audiotree Live.


Band Members
Lucy Dacus – Vocals and Guitar
Noma Illmensee – Bass and Backing Vocals
Jacob Blizzard – Guitar
Tristan Fisher – Guitar and Backing Vocal
Miles Huffman – Drums

Lucy Dacus performs on Audiotree Live, March 28, 2016.


It’s fair to say it’s been a pretty spectacular year for Richmond, Virginia based singer Lucy Dacus. What started with a self-release of her debut album, No Burden, has now seen her sign a deal with Matador Records, headline a show at SXSW and tour the world with some of the biggest names in the current alternative scene.

All of which would seem very lucky, if it wasn’t for the fact that No Burden is a stunning record. Few songwriters are capable of going from the brash, over-driven stomp of I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore, to the heartbreakingly, beautiful, Map On A Wall. No Burden tackles a wide range of topics, her adoption at a very young age, not allowing yourself to be Pigeonholed as a “female” songwriter, and not feeling deserving of the praise coming her way, on Map On A Wall she sings, “so far my life’s one long lucky streak, they say you should take the credit when it comes” they’re right and as a lot of it seems to be coming her way lately, Lucy might just have to get used to it.


all songs written and sung by Lucy Dacus
engineered and mixed by Collin Pastore
produced by Lucy Dacus, Jacob Blizard, and Collin Pastore
drums by Hayden Cotcher
bass by Christine Moad
guitar by Jacob Blizard

SXSW; 25 Artist to See

This Richmond singer-songwriter’s just-released the album No Burden it is one of 2016’s best indie rock debuts. Lucy Dacus‘ sharply observed lyrics and her band’s muscular, yet slightly fuzzy crunch feels completely lived in. The intimacy of songs like the brooding “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” and the thundering “Troublemaker Doppleganger” will entice even the most harried SXSW showgoers to lean in and listen a little bit more closely. “Hopefully when you listen to a song, you can say, ‘That’s me,’ or ‘That’s someone I know’ — you relate to it in a way that’s cathartic,” Dacus


Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus For Fans Of: Eleanor Friedberger, Wye Oak, Sebadoh’s “Rebound”

Why You Should Pay Attention: Richmond-based Lucy Dacus has a knack for writing disarmingly open indie rock songs, with plainspoken lyrics that hit even harder thanks to her soft, sturdy alto. Her debut No Burden, which comes out February 26th, was recorded in Nashville over the course of a single day. Dacus’s voice is surrounded by gently churning guitars with forays into dreampop (the fuzzed-out ending to the sturdy “Dreamtime”) and stark acoustic tracks (“Trust,” one of Dacus’s earliest songs).

She Says: “Usually I’ll just be walking from my house to somewhere else, and melodies and words will start coming up, and I’ll have to run home to write it all down. I have a huge note on my phone where things just start popping up. It doesn’t make that much sense to me at the time, but once a song is finished, I can read into it and figure out who the characters are in my life. Hopefully when you listen to a song, you can say, ‘That’s me,’ or ‘That’s someone I know’ — you relate to it in a way that’s cathartic.”

Hear for Yourself: “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” is a pitch-perfect portrait of a woman feeling boxed in by the way her peers view her, with Dacus’ thoughts about potential personas grounded by a steady chug.


Richmond Singer-Songwriter Lucy Dacus Doesn't Want To Be Funny Anymore

Like a young Courtney Barnett, Richmond singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus hits the nail on the head with her new single “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore.” The song is off her debut album “No Burden”, which is out February 26th 2016  via EggHunt Records.

Dacus  e-mailed that while writing the song, she was thinking about “how stressful it is to be pegged as a certain type of person and feel the need to always live up to that identity people assign to you, especially if you’re the ‘funny one.'” She continues, “You can’t always be jolly or vivacious or clever or positive, but when people expect that from you, you don’t wanna let them down.” Yes, girl. The feeling of being stuck in one archetype isn’t very fun.

Dacus says she remembers being the “funny one” when she was growing up, and “always envying other tropes, thinking like, ‘why can’t I be the cute one, the smart one, the mysterious one, the one that’s good at dodgeball?'” Now that she’s older, she knows she doesn’t have to be stuck in a box, but that “there are still times people get sick of living up to what people expect of them.” I don’t want the joke to be on me, she sings. Try not to laugh/ I know it’ll be hard/ I’m serious/ I know it’s a first, but…That funny girl/ doesn’t wanna smile for a while. It’s that kind of introspection that makes “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” so charming. It doesn’t hurt that Dacus’ sweet voice is the kind that gets under your skin, and that the track’s beat and hooks are on earworm level.