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Lucy Dacus - Historian
Apr 12, 2018
"And I fight time
It won in a landslide
I'm just as good as anybody
I'm just as bad as anybody"

American singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus' sophomore LP is one of earnest life and death confrontation, a thorough study of the ups and downs of simple, common individuals, stripped from the usual phallacies that slowly, but steadily flood people's intellects along the way. With an intimacy that remains unshaken since her first big steps in the music world, Dacus' music can feel both unbearably personal and widely bold in scope, taking a slice-of-life like approach to the strong ruminations she brings to the table, but setting the bar way higher in terms of songwriting and arranging this time around; a sharper stance that tends to maximize the emotional value in her lonely, brooding heartful meditations. While some of these songs can't help but feel a bit too hermetic even with the bold addition of orchestral flavours and spacious production to her not long ago in-development folk-ish style, the way she sings about painful breakup experiences ("Night Shift"), religion and friendship skepticism ("Nonbeliever"), hereditarianism and, above all, the loosening of the fear of death (even if standing side by side with other major themes among the tracklisting, this reads like the centerfold of the album's roots, culminating with "Next of Kin" and the awe-inspiring "Pillar of Truth") is just beautiful and poetic in the wider sense of these words.

Even if refraining to absorb all the depth of Dacus' songwriting, Historian is likely to captivate listeners as the raw and subtle indie/alternative-rock/folk album it is, but there is much more to it. In times where the whole concept of documentation and remembrance is perceived through synthetic lenses (both literal and metaphorically speaking), a premise so keen on the organic touch of everyday situations, personal relationships, the actual moulding of time over our actions and senses, comes as a truly distinct endeavour, and it is definitely not about puerile distillations of happiness or melancholy, but self-consciousness and exploration of our surroundings in the most hollistic way our limited perception can achieve. For a young newcomer to hold such a vast and sharp vision of human nature, and to express so much with so little while having little regard for genre contention is a true sign of ambition, manifesting itself in all but unlikely places.
1 Comment
Apr 13, 2018
Yet again... An incredibly well drafted review leading me to a new discovery with ample insight to help me discern if it's a sound I can truly appreciate. You're the best!
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