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Stars Pick Their Top Five! This Week: Lucy Dacus

click to enlarge Lucy Dacus: Bowie’s Ziggy is “is still the standard for what music can be …”


Lucy Dacus: Bowie’s Ziggy is “is still the standard for what music can be …”

When her spectacular debut album made its way from a small hometown label to indie giant Matador Records, Lucy Dacus became one of the most acclaimed musicians of 2016.

With praise from NPR Music (All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen's favorite discovery of 2016), Magnet Magazine (#1 album of 2016) and numerous year-end best-of mentions, Dacus is a breakout of the decade. No Burden is a remarkably accomplished record for a debut. The Richmond, Virginia songwriter blends hooks and with poignant lyrics, a bit observational and a bit confessional. Her first single, "I Don't Want to Be Funny Anymore" caught the ear of local label EggHunt, but No Burden soon attracted a host of bidding record labels and was rereleased in September on Matador.

For fans of Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, Savages and Heartless Bastards, Dacus brings the sort of versatility that can support big-hearted rockers like "Troublemaker, Doppelganger" as well as plaintive ballads like "Trust." No Burden peaks with the expansive, seven-minute "Map On A Wall." No word on a release date for a follow-up record, but it will surely be one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2018.

With Molly Burch and Casey Golden on Friday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m., Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $10, All ages.

1. Prince and The Revolution—Purple Rain: I think of this as the one reprieve from contemporary Christian music and Springsteen through my childhood. My mom was a huge Prince fan and would play this while she was cleaning. She saw him in concert once and remembers him leaving the stage and repeating "I am God" for 10 minutes. ... He always captivated my interest. 

2. LCD Soundsystem—This Is Happening: How many times have I danced to this entire record, start to finish? The soundtrack to high-school sleepovers, my go-to album if asked to DJ, and invariably what is playing at every New Year's Party I've been to the past couple years. I've seen them three times and I'm never so happy as when I'm dancing in their crowd with friends. Nor am I ever so sore the morning after. 

3. Laura Stevenson—A Record: My friend Luke showed me this record when it came out and insisted that we lay down on the floor and look at the ceiling, not talk, and listen to it through. I try to listen to music with as much reverence as that since then. The album always will always comfort me and probably contributed to my belief in myself as a songwriter and my confidence to share what I wrote. 

4. David Bowie—The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: Maybe my favorite album of all time. The first rock record that made me cry. Also the first album I loved that none of my friends liked. It contains the full range of human emotion and is still the standard for what music can be in my opinion. 

5. The Phantom Of The Opera: Hah! My first CD. Actually the first piece of music to make me cry, in elementary school. Oh, the bittersweet drama! My young heart couldn't bear it. I would listen to it five times a day sometimes. 

More by Eric Swedlund

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    • Apr 5, 2018
  • History & Hope

    Lucy Dacus’ brilliant sophomore album takes on life’s biggest challenges
    • Mar 15, 2018
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