Lucy Dacus announces her third album, Home Video, out June 25th on Matador, and releases lead single/video, ‘Hot & Heavy’, which she’ll perform tonight on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The follow-up to 2018’s Historian and her 2016 debut No Burden, Home Video was built on Dacus’ interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, Virginia. Many of the songs start the way a memoir might, and all of them have the compassion, humour, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. These songs capture that specific moment in time growing up where emotions and relationships start becoming more complex. They capture the joys, the excitement, the confusion, and even the heartbreak of going through the process of discovering who you are and where people fit in your life and where you fit in theirs. Most importantly and mysteriously, this album displays Dacus’ ability to use the personal as portal into the universal.
While there’s a nostalgic tint to much of Dacus’ work, the obliquely told stories in past songs are depicted here with greater specificity. This was first presented in last month’s devastating single ‘Thumbs’, a fan favourite and elegant fantasy about the brutal murder of a close friend’s no-good father. In new single ‘Hot & Heavy’, Dacus sings powerfully about blushing and diffidence. It’s the album’s opening track and it immediately sets the stage for Dacus’ feelings about rerooting in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, following sudden acclaim. It created funhouse distortions of herself – people she didn’t know were looking at her like they knew her better than she knew herself.
“I thought I was writing ‘Hot & Heavy’ about an old friend, but I realised along the way that it was just about me outgrowing past versions of myself,” explains Dacus. “So much of life is submitting to change and saying goodbye even if you don’t want to. Now whenever I go to places that used to be significant to me, it feels like trespassing the past. I know that the teen version of me wouldn’t approve of me now, and that’s embarrassing and a little bit heartbreaking, even if I know intellectually that I like my life and who I am.”