Every Record I Own: Lucy Dacus – Historian
Soon after this record came out I went through a big Lucy Dacus phase. I was a big fan of some of her first singles which I had discovered when I was doing a weekly radio show in 2016. And then in 2018 I found her first record in a cheap bin at a record store so picked it up.
I was vaguely aware that she had another one out but was too busy enjoying and listening to her first one (I’ll come back to that). And then when her new songs popped up in playlists etc I mostly felt disappointed that they weren’t the same as the ones I knew.
About a year after the album came out some of the songs from it, specifically Night Shift and Addictions had been regularly popping up in my spotify generated playlists. Night Shift became part of my regular rotation. It’s one of those songs you didn’t know you needed to describe a feeling you didn’t know you had.
This blog will come back time and time again to the algorithm and spotify/streaming because it’s something I’m really grappling with at the moment. Because I’m grateful for it for putting these songs in front of me, but I don’t like the way it makes listening so passive.
If I hadn’t already listened to the first Lucy Dacus album and gotten into it, I’m not sure I ever would have clicked through and actually listened to this album. There are dozens of other songs which at some stage I’ve listened to over and over again but have never explored further. And I’m someone who actively searches out new music. It would have been easy for me to instead of clicking through listening to whatever came up after, which I’m sure would have been perfectly good and would have fit well with whatever else was playing around it.
I don’t like that it seems to remove the artist from the songs, putting songs next to each other which have similar vibes. This distills their music into whatever is the most similar to the songs around it and strips away any uniqueness.
But once you explore the artists/albums themselves you start to see how different they all are. I like how her songs always have space. She has a unique cadance to her vocals, which points to a bluesy background but not in a direct way. The songs have a lot of dynamics, but when it gets loud it never seems to get messy.
I saw Lucy Dacus last year which was really amazing. Before that I decided to listen more to her most recent album, which again does a major shift from her previous work. It was exciting to see those songs transformed on the stage. But I’ve always come back to her first two albums when wanting to listen.
Fave songs: Night Shift, Timefighter, Pillar of Truth.