Lucy Dacus has released her hotly-awaited second album Historian. Coming out to a multitude of rave reviews, and recently profiled in the New York Times under the heading ‘How an Indie-Rock Star Is Made in 2018’ – Historian is emerging as an early 2018 highlight, and asserts Dacus as an essential new voice.
In a recent profile in US publication The Ringer, Dacus said, “If I had to encapsulate all of my creative identity in a word, it would be ‘historian’ before it would be ‘musician,’ or ‘writer,’ or anything… I document people and try to capture them in all these different ways. And then when they’re gone, I’m going to have all these little emblems of who they are.”
Dacus and her band recorded the album in Nashville last March, re-teaming with No Burden producerCollin Pastore, and mixed it a few months later with A-list studio wizard John Congleton. The sound they created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut — an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus‘ remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers, on a new level of truth-telling and melodic grace.
The past year, with its electoral disasters and other assorted heartbreaks, has been a rough one for many of us, Dacus included. She found solace in crafting a thoughtful narrative arc for Historian, writing a concept album about cautious optimism in the face of adversity, with thematic links between songs that reveal themselves on repeat listens — touching on everything from political unrest to creative burnout to the death of her grandmother. “It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks,” she explains. “What I’m trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff.”