Tuesday, July 11, 2017

No Burden by Lucy Dacus


Lucy Dacus is a singer/songwriter from Richmond, Virginia.  Her debut album, No Burden, was recorded when she was barely in her 20s.  I mention this for the same reason any reviewer mentions a songwriter’s age – she sounds older than she is.

The music on No Burden is chiefly two guitars, bass, and drums but there is enough variety to keep your interest from ever flagging.  Be it the acoustic ballad, “Trust,” the slow-burning, “Map on a Wall,” or the uptempo and extremely catchy, “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” there is something in every track to grab you.  Dacus’ lyrics aren’t obsessed with the lovelorn (though there is some of that).  She writes more keenly than your average self-aware 20-something whether she’s holding herself under the lens or looking outward at acquaintances or people in general.

The band has strong chemistry, so songs are filled or given room to breathe depending on what’s needed.  The rhythm section pushes instead of intrudes and the guitars alternately sparkle and roar.  The music in general is catchy, 90s-inspired indie rock but it’s Dacus who sets the album apart.  Her writing is at turns funny or poignant.  Her voice is low and clear with just enough warmth and a Southern lilt.  There isn’t a bad song on No Burden and the only complaint I have is that at 35 minutes, I was left wanting more.


If you like this album, you might also like Emotions and Math by Margaret Glaspy, available from the Virginia Beach Public Library.

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