There’s something that comes from the South, a warmth where people say hello to strangers, where friends are typically folksy, and where artists see one another like anomalies. Lucy Dacus offers up that Southern charm all over her latest release, Historian. Full of gorgeous notes and vocals that could heat up any icy Winter evening, the album is a stunner from beginning to end.
The opening track “Night Shift” blooms like a flower in Spring. There’s such subtle beauty in how the deeper tones of Dacus’ vocals get balanced out by a register that can go high, go low, and fall wherever she needs it to. The song builds tempo and her vocals are right there to bring a calm, even if the song isn’t calling for it. This is most present on “Addictions,” where Dacus’ voice feels like it’s singing directly to you, like advice from a close friend. When the track picks up pace, there’s no wavering from her voice, while it drafts the scope of the song in the most endearing way possible without coming off cheesy.
Dacus has this way to calm whatever storm her music creates, and there’s really no one else doing that today. On “Yours & Mine,” she opens with tender notes that are close to lullabies, on “Timefighter” Dacus navigates through synths that feel like dark electronica without the feeling that she’ll employ visuals, and on “Pillar of Truth” she takes us to the most solitary places without us ever feeling alone.
The album isn’t just slow burners, as tracks like “The Shell,” “Nonbeliever” and “Body to Flame” have a snappy tempo that come close to pop, but also aren’t as contrived as the genre tends to lean. The balance between the vocals and the instrumentation offer up an album that’s easy to listen to, while feeling like a love letter written to whoever hears it.
Historian is available to stream on all streaming sites, it can be purchased on all digital store fronts, or directly from Matador Records. You can see Lucy Dacus in person when she tours this Fall starting October 11 at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia all the way until November 30 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Her complete tour dates can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Matador Records.