Even although they are all alpha musicians in their individual suitable, it’s typically challenging not to believe of Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers — close buddies and users of the semi-supergroup facet-project Boygenius — as a single, multi-faceted entity. Boygenius has only launched an EP and accomplished a single tour, but the three be part of their fantastically matched harmonies on a music or two on every single members’ solo albums, and most of all, their inventive sensibilities occur from very similar locations, with lyrics that share a own, memoir/novelistic excellent, in spite of their differing seems and backgrounds.
Which is a longwinded and slightly unfair way to guide into “Home Video,” the potent 3rd album from the deepest-voiced member of that trio, Dacus (and 3rd in the triumvirate of Bridgers’ Grammy-nominated “Punisher” and Baker’s “Little Oblivions”), which finds her equally revisiting her youth and stepping into a whole new realm as a songwriter and artist.
Despite Dacus’ singer-songwriter template, this is extremely significantly a band album, and her collaborators mirror and foresee the ebbs and flows of the songs’ moods — most amusingly on “VBS” (which stands for Trip Bible School, reflecting Dacus’ spiritual upbringing). Throughout the lyric, “While you’re going to sleep your head retains you awake… taking part in Slayer at comprehensive volume can help to drown it out,” the songs briefly drops out, but at the term “Slayer,” pulverizing power chords come crashing in, drowning out the relaxation of the line. All over the album, the manufacturing and accompaniment — and the combine, by Grammy-successful engineer Shawn Everett of Alabama Shakes fame — are stuffed with intricately layered keyboards and guitars Baker and Bridgers sing harmony on two music.
But what definitely sets Dacus aside are her lyrics, and “Home Video” is like a Southern limited story selection about adolescence. The bio, written by novelist Catherine Lacey, says, it “was created on an interrogation of [Dacus’] coming-of-age many years in Richmond, Virginia.”
Each track is stuffed with vividly observed recollections and vignettes: “Curse terms and empty cups, cracked blacktop curling up/ Warmth wave by midday, warmth lightning on a summer season night” (“Cartwheel”) “Eating cherries on the bridge, ft dangling, throwing the pits and stems into the racing existing below” (“Partner in Crime”). “Going Going Gone” is a memory of the awkward early years of relationship: “After supper, in advance of dark, we’d meet up with at the identical bench in the park/ Sweaty palms, averted eyes, wasn’t certain if he and I were being likely out.”
But numerous of the tracks are topical, and generally unsettlingly so. “Thumbs” is about accompanying a lover to fulfill their estranged, evidently trauma-inducing father (“I enjoy your eyes and he has ‘em/ Or you have his, ‘cause he was initially/ I imagine my thumbs on the irises pressing in until they burst.” And the closing track, “Triple Pet dog Dare,” is about two friends who run away from home, evidently permanently (“They place our faces on the milk jugs/ Lacking young children til they gave up”).
Like numerous quick tale collections, it ends the album on an inconclusive and ambiguously disturbing take note (a repeated line, “Nothing worse can transpire now”), leaving you wanting to know the ending but not seriously minding that you never, and flipping back to the commencing — not just for clues, but because you want much more.