Lucy Dacus’ New Album Is Pleasantly Melodic, but It Ain’t Easy Listening

Brutal honesty is rarely this engaging.

Album Review

Lucy Dacus
Historian
Matador

Lucy Dacus has a pretty, reassuring voice and crafts pleasant folk-pop melodies, which suggests Historian should be easy listening. Not so. The Virginia native’s compelling second album is a startling set of unsparing vignettes exploring damaged or dying relationships, laced with Dacus’ blunt observations. “Am I a masochist, resisting urges to punch you in the teeth?” she muses coolly on “Night Shift,” while “Timefighter” finds her confessing, “I fought time/It won in a landslide.” Starting softly, the songs often build to dramatic crescendos, punctuated by buzzing electric guitars Neil Young would admire. Through it all, Dacus remains sweetly unflappable, her calm demeanor countering the theatrics with the vocal equivalent of a shrug, as if to say, “This too shall pass.” Brutal honesty is rarely this engaging.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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