Lucy Dacus


And so this is it; the conclusion of my ‘mother of all things holy how damn good are women at music at the moment’ series, which, if you’ve been following closely (OF COURSE YOU HAVE), has basically been a load of love letters to some absolutely brilliant young female musicians who have been making exceptional music and touring it throughout the year. This time round it’s the wonderful Lucy Dacus I’m here to see, who earlier this year released her second album Historian to much acclaim.

Coming onto the Yes stage alone, she explains she’s going to start with a new track, “so don’t film it please” she says with a smile that says, “no really, don’t”, before gentle strumming through an absolutely knockout gorgeous track that I think might be called ‘Fools Gold’, silencing the crowd into a stunned awe, the line “I threw the party so I could stay put” sticking in my mind as a beautiful lyric full of pathos, I loved it. Her band join her afterwards, and it’s straight on with Historian’s greatest hits, ‘Addiction’ followed by ‘The Shell’, where the slight rock-out coda gives a hint of what the band are capable of and what’s to come. She’s witty and charming throughout, the rapport with a rapt audience lovely to see. Before ‘You & Yours’, an absolute bop of a song, she explains how things suck at home because of all the goings on, and that singing this song reminds her of the positives back there. But when she says “things suck back home” and someone shouts “why, is it cold?!”, to which she deadpans “I think the weather is the least of our worries”, the crowd is reduced to fits of giggles, as is she, before she spins out a fantastic rendition of the song.

‘Timefighter’ is a beast of a track, all snarling and dramatic pauses before launching into what counts, tonight, as a full rock wig-out, acknowledged by Dacus when she puts up the universal rawk fingers and bangs her head a little in appreciation of the wild applause coming her way. She says how she loves it when people sing her songs back at her, as she knows that in some way she’s infiltrated our lives a little bit, and this comes to total fruition when she starts the outstanding, pushing-for-song-of-the-year track ‘Night Shift’, which is sung back at her word for word, the comical opening lines of “the first time I tasted anybody else’s spit, I had a coughing fit,” before the absolute banger of a relationship sign off is repeated over and over again over distorted guitar lines: “you’ve got a nine to five so I’ll take the night shift/and I’ll never see you again, if I can help it”. It’s the opposite of feeling sorry for yourself, it’s a big fuck you to a bad relationship, and it’s cathartic to bellow it back at her.

Finally, the band depart and she’s left alone once more, and once more we’re asked not to film a new track. This one is utterly heartbreaking, and has the sound of Radiohead’s ‘Motion Picture Soundtrack’ about it, and makes me very excited for whatever she’s up to next. Not that it’ll probably be coming too soon, as not content with being amazing by herself, Dacus is also in a side project with fellow amazing women Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, a band they’ve called boygenius and who somehow found the time to release an EP last Friday (check it out, it’s great). Incredible stuff.

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