Lucy Dacus – No Burden (album review)

by Woody on July 5, 2016


I hadn’t heard of Lucy Dacus until last week but now I’ve listened to No Burden so many times, that she may file a restraining order against me. I haven’t been this blown away by a female artist since hearing Avant Gardener by Courtney Barnett. And maybe that’s I was so eager to hear Barnett in her vocals.

But after repeated listens, her delivery is a more like a blend of Sharon Van Etten and Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards. The lead track, “I Don’t Want To Be Funny Anymore,” is a 3 minute opus about figuring your place in the world. A few tracks later, Green Eyes, Red Face really sounds like a Heartless Bastards track as Dacus voice unearths that lovely combo of fragility and strength while slowly strumming the bluesy riff. As the tune slowly builds, Dacus wonders how to make that initial move towards finishing, “What am I supposed to say with your green eyes on my red face?”

Trust is a beautiful acoustic track that is sure to be a show-stopper during her live shows. The fact that she follows with that with a seven minute windy rocker, Map On A Wall, that bends and shifts all over the place shows her range as a dynamic writer. The tension she builds with Map On A Wall seems heightened after Trust. I read she tracked No Burden in one day and I’d like to think she did these one after one another as their placement on the album is just so fucking brilliant.

In the last few months, Matador has aligned themselves with two amazing voices (Will Toledo) on what its like to get by in this world as a young adult in this world today. They both wear their hearts on their sleeves so it will be fun to see how they grow as people and songwriters.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Lucy Dacus is here

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