Mistletone proudly presents the return of Lucy Dacus and her band, bringing her brilliant new album Home Video (out now on Matador / Remote Control) to The Metro.
There are a thousand truisms about home and childhood, none of them true but all of them honest. It’s natural to want to tidy those earliest memories into a story so palatable and simple that you never have to read again. A home video promises to give your memories back with a certificate of fact— but the footage isn’t the feeling. Who is just out of frame? What does the soft focus obscure? How did the recording itself change the scene?
Some scrutinise the past and some never look back; Lucy Dacus, a lifelong writer and close reader, has long been the former. “The past doesn’t change,” Dacus said. “Even if a memory is of a time I didn’t feel safe, there’s safety in looking at it, in its stability.”
Home Video, her third album, was built on an interrogation of her coming-of-age years in Richmond, Virginia. Many songs start the way a memoir might—“In the summer of ’07 I was sure I’d go to heaven, but I was hedging my bets at VBS”—and all of them have the compassion, humor, and honesty of the best autobiographical writing. Most importantly and mysteriously, this album displays Dacus’s ability to use the personal as portal into the universal. “I can’t hide behind generalizations or fiction anymore,” Dacus says, though talking about these songs, she admits, makes her ache.
Continuing to showcase her incredible storytelling and songwriting, Home Video is Dacus’ “most personal album to date, recounting her coming of age, in Richmond, Virginia. She sings about lost friendships, queer love affairs, curfews, and other adolescent pursuits” (The New Yorker). It displays her ability to use the personal as portal into the universal as the songs capture that specific moment in time growing up where emotions and relationships start becoming more complex — 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. Dacus’ voice has a healer’s power to soothe and ground and reckon.