Last Friday (June 25th) saw the release of the ever-ethereal Lucy Dacus’ third album, “Home Video” released via Matador. The album features contributions from Lucy’s band mates Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker of boygenius and if that’s not enough to sell you on checking it out already, the album itself stands on its own as reason to.
What plays itself as part biographical, part fiction still remains one of the most honest collection of song writing this year. A coming-of-age tale that we can all relate to; “Home Video” is certain to make you reflect on similar experiences you’ve been through.
The album goes from strength to strength starting with the fantastic single “Hot & Heavy” and opening with the lyrics:
“Being back here makes me hot in the face, hot blood in my pulsing veins.”
This opening line lends beautifully to the feelings of nostalgia you’re filled with as a listener when the instruments kick in. I say listener lightly as this album is so well written you feel almost like an observer into Lucy’s coming of age story. A fly on the wall.
“VBS” tells the story of meeting and becoming enamoured with a troubled fellow camper at summer camp who recites bad poetry and listens to Slayer.
“While you’re going to sleep, your mind keeps you awake and it makes your heart beat loud and fast. There’s nothing you can do, but the only thing you found, playing Slayer at full volume helps to block it out.”
Another fantastic use of Dacus’ story telling is with the lyrics being followed by a cascade of trashy guitars that would seem out of place usually on this deceptively up beat track, but just works beautifully here, putting you in the story front and centre.
A great example of this dichotomy is with the track “Partner in Crime” in which the mainly soft acoustic and band backed singer-songwriter album is laden with auto-tuned vocals and synths, however it gives the whole track this eerily beautiful feel. It was quite jarring to make the transition but it brings the track together so well that it’s instantly forgiven and doesn’t seem out of place at all.
Also, a key track “Brando” is an indie bop filled to the brim with old Hollywood references.
“I’m in the second story window and you’re yelling at me “Stella!” and I’m laughing ‘cause you think you’re Brando but you’ll never come close.”
Dacus says “Brando refers to a very dramatic friend I had in high school whose whole personality was the media he consumed. He showed me a lot of amazing movies and music, but I think he was more interested in using me as a scrapbook of his own tastes than actually getting to know me. He claimed to know me better than anyone else but I started to feel like all he wanted from me was to be a scene partner in the movie of his life.”
Brando is followed by the brutally honest and my personal favourite track “Please Stay” which really showcases how hauntingly beautiful Lucy’s vocals are, especially when accompanied with harmonies from Phoebe. It’s the story known so well, by so many. The reluctance of saying goodbye to the ones you love. Be it a relationship breaking down or a more permanent farewell.
“You tell me you love me like it’ll be the last time, like you’re playing out the end of the storyline. I say I love you too because it’s true, what else am I supposed to do? Maybe bar the door when you move to leave.”
Lucy shows us a masterclass in vulnerability, honesty and song writing with “Home Video” which I doubt I’ll come across as effortlessly again this year, with that being said I confidently say that this album is a contender for my album of the year and certainly is up to this point and I implore you all to check it out.
“Home Video” is available now from all good record stores.