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.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate