Lucy Dacus – Home Video

The Virginia singer-songwriter is at her most vulnerable in front of her biggest audience yet

Album Review by Joe Goggins | 21 Jun 2021
  • Lucy Dacus - Home Video
Album title: Home Video
Artist: Lucy Dacus
Label: Matador
Release date: 25 Jun

Any suggestion that the wider audience that Lucy Dacus is releasing this third record to might cause her to clam up are proven unfounded within the opening seconds of Home Video. Hot & Heavy, the lead single and opening track, sets the tone; it’s a profoundly personal postcard both to a childhood friend and, by way of proxy, to Dacus’ younger self, as evidenced by an accompanying video made up of old camcorder footage of the artist as a young woman.

Both the runaway success of Dacus’ last album, the masterful Historian, and her involvement with boygenius alongside the similarly inclined Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers means that there is a weight of expectation to the arrival of Home Video. It's a weight that Dacus has dealt with by doubling down on the confessional, musically delicate style of songwriting that got her here in the first place.

Christine paints a gorgeous portrait in barely two-and-half-minutes, while the incisive storytelling of Thumbs, a track on which she relays in deadpan style a tale of chaperoning a friend to a meeting with their estranged father, is almost disarming in how coldly it depicts her broiling rage. Sonically speaking, Dacus sticks to what she knows; a minimal palette, informed chiefly by barely-there guitar and piano. It’s understandable; her cutting lyricism works best against a bare-bones backdrop. Home Video is intimate, occasionally discomfiting, and, most of all, brave – the sound of an artist choosing to be at her most vulnerable, in front of a bigger following than she’s ever had before.

Listen to: Hot & Heavy, Thumbs, Brando