Review: Lucy Dacus Presents a Double Feature of Adolescence & Acceptance with ‘Home Video’

Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz
Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz
Come one, come all to the premiere of ‘Home Video,’ Lucy Dacus’ bold and brave documentary (and third album).
Stream: ‘Home Video’ – Lucy Dacus


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It has been three years since we’ve heard from Lucy Dacus. She left us with Historian in 2018, food for relational thought, writing her life in gossamer pen. Now she gives us Home Video, a collection of the confidential and the cosmic (out June 25, 2021 via Matador Records).

Home Video - Lucy Dacus
Home Video – Lucy Dacus

Home Video is new, as we see Dacus use hindsight to its full potential, both in a distracted thought during a pastor’s sermon or a moment in the backseat of a friend’s car. Blame it on the underdeveloped frontal lobe and the raging hormones, or just plain youth. Dacus’ superpower is that she turns a moment into an eternity.

Being back here makes me hot in the face
Hot blood in my pulsing veins
Heavy memories weighing on my brain
Hot and heavy in the basement of your parents’ place
You used to be so sweet
Now you’re a firecracker on a crowded street
Couldn’t look away even if I wanted
Try to walk away but I come back to the start

We begin with Dacus’ best venture at indie-pop to date, “Hot & Heavy.” The track charms with its cinematic lyricism pulsing guitar. Running through the album like a golden thread is a sense of disconnect. Dacus is limited, whether it be by religious extremism or growing up queer or dwelling in anxiety.

Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz
Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz


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Cartwheel” is a canticle, beautiful and simple. The track is sandwiched between “VBS” and “Thumbs,” and its light, continuous sound is a stunning contrast. Dacus’ voice swings back and forth between the carefully plucked guitar and her harmony, as she draws her breaths quietly in the tiniest gaps of the melody. The lyrics are enough to make your highschool stomach drop, as Dacus remembers, “When you told me ‘bout your first time, A soccer player at the senior high, I felt my body crumple to the floor, Betrayal like I’d never felt before.” Dacus mourns with half-hearted confusion, as she remembers a vow to “build a house of twigs and vines, grow old together just to pass the time.

“THUMBS” IS LUCY DACUS’ ULTIMATE STATEMENT AS A STORYTELLER

:: TODAY’S SONG ::


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Now, the jarring world of “Thumbs.” Dacus’s masochistic tendencies are no secret, take “Night Shift” for example. Dacus is first and foremost a friend, then as a stress ball and sounding board for a distressed daughter.  Somewhere there is a world where two live together in a ivy-covered cottage, and a birth father confronts his mistakes with an apology and a head hung low.

Somewhere in the world there, is a father and a mother
And the father is a son, who has a mother
The mother has a daughter who gets married to the brother of a mother
And they all just tryna multiply with one another
‘Cause that’s just the way of the world
It never ends till the end, then you start again
That’s just the way of the world…
Somewhere in the world, they think they’re working for themselves
They get up everyday to go to work for someone else
And somebody works for them and, so, they think they got it made
But they’re all just working to get paid the very same



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Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz
Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz

Next, we head to Vacation Bible School with “VBS,” home of a summer filled with four chords and a single strumming pattern. Days were spent with “Hands above our heads, reaching for God,” as Dacus knows she didn’t feel Him there.

Walking the tightrope between religion and relationship, she writes of a friend, “You say that I showed you the light, But all it did in the end, Was make the dark feel darker than before.”



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Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz
Lucy Dacus © Ebru Yildiz


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No matter how you get through the day, Dacus begs you to stay. We end with “Triple Dog Dare,” as Dacus tells of an early experience with her sexuality. She admits, “I never touched you how I wanted to.” She is bound by constraints not of her own, needing permission from an already suspicious mother to see her counterpart. She asks and answers, “If the door were to open, would you walk through the frame? If you’re too afraid, it won’t be you I blame.” “Triple Dog Dare” is reminiscent of Dacus’ signature sound, fixed with her long, laser-focused storytelling and powerful drums and guitar. Dacus wants to run from this, not run away. To find a home within herself and with her counterpart, to accept who she is and walk with love every step of the way.

Home Video is an interaction, not an intervention.

This record makes me hope to run into Dacus at a party, to stand in the corner and unearth each other’s traumas over the sound of radio hits. It does not get stuck in the cycles of the past, and demands that you break away too. Enter Dacus’ world and move forward, one step and one memory at a time.

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:: stream/purchase Home Video here ::


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Home Video - Lucy Dacus

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? © Ebru Yildiz

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