Lucy Dacus: Home Video review – forthright vignettes of a Virginia girlhood

Lucy Dacus doesn’t seem like the homicidal type. Wielding nothing more threatening than a guitar and a level gaze, this seemingly mild-mannered Virginia songwriter is probably best known as one third of Boygenius, a supergroup that also includes Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. Home Video is Dacus’s own third album of closely observed songwriting, most of which plays out at a gentle indie-rock chug or strummed lo-fi.

On the quietly devastating Thumbs, though, Dacus details how she would kill someone. “Quick and easy” is her claim, but the method she outlines is anything but: pushing her thumbs into a man’s eyes until they burst.

Nothing else on Home Video can match this intensity, but Dacus’s writing retains its forthrightness throughout. This album examines her Richmond youth – going to bible study camp, discovering her sexuality – with an eye for uncomfortable truths. The thumbnail sketches can ambush the listener with their acuity – such as Christine, whose low self-esteem is nailed in one finely turned couplet. “Your toothbrush is too much,” sings Dacus on Please Stay. Her music is perhaps a little uneventful in comparison, but the elegant crunch of First Time shows that Dacus can go widescreen too.

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