Patron saint of moody ex-fundies everywhere Lucy Dacus has returned with her third full length album “Home Video.” After big deal releases from her boygenius bandmates Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker, expectations were high for Dacus, and she has delivered on “Home Video,” a tour de force in nostalgia and coming of age documentary.
Prior to this album, Dacus was something of an enigmatic figure. Her music was autobiographical, but opaque. Her most personal, (and by far best) song, “Night Shift,” was unique for blending intensely individual details with a kind of universal songwriting style that made it relatable to nearly everyone. But beyond this, you really didn’t get a good feel for Dacus’ internal world or emotional landscape only her musical world.
On “Home Video” Dacus gives a far more grounded account of her life without sacrificing the universal and biting songwriting choices that made her stand out. It’s set not in the abstract fantasy world of song, but in the very specific realm of an evangelical community in Virginia in the 2000s. Every song is set somewhere during high school or the first year or two of college, but the order is scrambled. It’s a mess of early memories, filtered through a sheen of warm, yet critical nostalgia. Dacus isn’t here to defend contemporary evangelical Christianity, but she is here to put herself in that context without shame. A queer woman of questionable faith who actually has some warm memories of her hometown and congregation. It feels a lot more honest than any number of leftist punk rebellions or Katy Perry-style party phases.
Putting aside the core concept, this album is just immaculate. Dacus flexes every musical and lyrical muscle she has, and I can remember some melodic or poetic detail from literally every song on here. Dacus is a master of her craft, and “Home Video,” will likely impress anyone with an appreciation for folk, indie rock, or music in general.