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Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 2019 | Matador

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Pop - Released March 2, 2018 | Matador

After releasing a debut album that led to a contract with and reissue by Matador Records, singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus follows up two years later with Historian. The response to 2016's No Burden took note of the songwriter's velvety voice and thoughtful lyrics as well as the album's mix of catchy indie rock and quieter introspection. For Historian, Dacus returned to the studio with the same production team (Dacus, Collin Pastore, Jacob Blizard), but here, they flesh out the arrangements, contrasting spare reflection with soaring dynamics, often within the same song. The album's epic first track, "Night Shift," is a prime example, opening with a quiet recollection of events over strummed guitar as the singer addresses an ex. It builds slowly, gaining drums and eventually grungy, churning guitars as Dacus moves into her upper range. That conversational midrange is her bread and butter, though, as most of the album seems to acknowledge. Tracks like "Addictions" and "Body to Flame" expand the palette even further with horns and strings. The latter song begins as restrained chamber pop with harpsichord-like guitar and a string quartet before it kicks into rock & roll gear, dramatically, halfway through. Later, the seven-plus-minute "Pillar of Truth," a hymnlike song that appears to play off of "Amazing Grace" with lyrics like "I once had sight/But now I'm blind," likewise rises and falls sharply in volume. Ultimately, the forte passages don't encroach on the songwriting, as they underline emotion, but they do, at times, step on Dacus' voice, when she's clouded by high-volume accompaniment or even vocal processing. Thankfully, those moments are brief and rare, allowing her lyrics and expressive sense of melody to shine. ~ Marcy Donelson
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 22, 2016 | Matador

No Burden is the debut of Lucy Dacus, a singer and songwriter who grew up just outside of Richmond, Virginia and connected with the city's indie music scene as a high schooler. The album was recorded on relatively short notice when a friend alerted her to an open day at Nashville's Starstruck Studio, where he worked. Dacus put together a band of guitarist Jacob Blizard, bass player Christine Moad, and drummer Hayden Cotcher, and they arranged her songs for a quartet in the week leading up to a ten-hour recording session. The friend, Collin Pastore, engineered and mixed the album, which was co-produced by Dacus, Pastore, and Blizard, and led to a record deal with Matador Records within a matter of months. The buzz surrounding the album, the record deal, and the 21-year-old songwriter is merited, as Dacus' distinctive vocal timbre melts like butter and allures throughout the set of thoughtful rock tunes. Catchy standout and lead single "I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore" has chugging guitars topped by vocals that are surly but smooth as the protagonist tries on different roles in a clique, because "that funny girl doesn't wanna smile for a while." Another power pop entry, "Strange Torpedo," has driving drums and echoey electric guitars under a vocal track that contrasts with clarity. Dacus' way with lilting melodies is just as effective on the more intimate songs, such as the weary acoustic-guitar ballad "Trust." Elsewhere, "Dream State..." is accompanied by a light twang that also marks other parts of the album. A gradual mass of guitars, sound effects, and layered vocals builds while the singer recalls a figurative storm that altered a relationship. The more measured tracks outnumber the hooky, uptempo ones, which are bunched early in the track list, so No Burden does leave a melancholy impression. It's one full of warmth and engaging words and melodies, though, all guided by a voice that alone would prompt repeat listens. ~ Marcy Donelson
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 31, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 8, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 31, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 8, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 12, 2017 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 7, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 12, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 1, 2019 | Matador

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Pop - Released January 16, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 7, 2019 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 1, 2019 | Matador

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