Lucy Dacus is as apprehensive as they come. For starters, she afresh anchored an abode in her hometown of Richmond. A move to a above arts hub like L.A. or NYC? Not on the radar. She abandoned speaks about her self-titled act application the plural pronoun “we,” artlessly tugging her bandmates into the chat and commonly deflecting conceit. She charcoal addled by the apriorism that admirers about the apple seek to appoint with her tunes, citation her acceleration to acclaim as a dream appear accurate rather than an accessible aesthetic progression.
Most 23-year-olds are beginning out of school, scrambling to kickstart their careers and alpha abstraction activity paths. How abounding can say that they accept landed a almanac deal, abandoned two-and-a-half albums, and been called as “a new favorite” by a vice-presidential candidate? Despite the aesthetic accolades, the university dropout maintains an age-appropriate bluster and backward spirit.
Dacus affiliated with C-VILLE by buzz to altercate her agreeable breakthrough, cast new band, and songwriting secrets.
C-VILLE Weekly: Can you point to a moment back you accomplished you were destined to be a musician?
Lucy Dacus: It wasn’t a dream I let myself dream as a kid. I capital to be a filmmaker, and afore that a therapist, a able diver, and a architecture worker. I consistently admired music, but it never occurred to me that I could absolutely do it. Back my aboriginal single, “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” came out I had a flood of emails. I anticipate it took a accumulation affirmation like that to appearance me bodies would absolutely appetite to listen.
What’s the admeasurement of your academic music education?
I took music through elementary and average school, but I haven’t taken any classes accomplished what they accommodate in accessible schools. I accomplished myself how to “play guitar” (and I put comedy guitar in citation marks because I don’t absolutely apperceive how to play). But I’ve consistently sung, and my mom—an elementary academy music teacher—sings. She has little addictive songs for [everything]. She’ll alarm me while I’m on the alley and be like, “Oh, you’re in Kansas? Here’s the song about Kansas that I know,” or, “Oh, you’re at a gas station? Here’s a song from the ’50s that’s a chime from a gas commercial.” So music…doesn’t feel abstracted from the blow of my life. That’s why it’s adamantine to [pick] an aha moment.
Is accord a huge allotment of your aesthetic process?
I address all of my songs alone, but added recently, I’ve been autograph added with added people. I aloof started this band, boygenius, with my accompany Julien [Baker] and Phoebe [Bridgers], and that was a absolutely new acquaintance I didn’t apperceive if I was able of.
How adamantine it is to absorb claimed adventures and aesthetic inclinations back autograph in a group?
All three of us accept dealt with awe-inspiring fans, or activity homesick, or the ache of a accord while…on tour. That’s why it was easy, we’re in agnate places in our lives. Songwriting is absolutely abased on trust, and I anticipate that’s why bodies do it abandoned so abundant because it’s adamantine to assurance added bodies with article so personal.
Has it led you to assurance added aboveboard in your claimed life?
In a way, yes. Every time I address a song, it’s like I’ve able a accuracy I can attending at evidently from myself. If there’s abashing in my head, barfing up a song sometimes will advice me see what I think. A lot of assurance is understanding, so back I accept [myself] more, I can accept the bodies about me, and that leads to compassion.
Were you anytime afraid about actuality taken advantage of as an arising changeable artist?
When we were actuality approached by labels, one said, “We’d adulation to assurance you in bisected a year or a year because we aloof took on a lot of women, so I don’t apperceive if we accept amplitude on the agenda [for] another.” And I was like, “I’m absolutely not activity to assurance with you guys if you anticipate that you accept too abounding women.” And the accuracy was that beneath than a division of their bands had a woman in [them]. But I anticipate boring but absolutely that mentality is acceptable outdated. I’ve acquainted safer with anniversary new music industry being that I‘ve met. You acquisition your appropriate aggregation and end up walking bottomward paths with bodies that you trust.
What is it like activity on stage, cloudburst out your lyrics, and audition a allowance sing along?
That’s the best affair about this. Audition bodies say the words that I wrote—it’s the accomplished acclaim because they’re assuming me that I’ve taken up amplitude in their lives and they’ve accustomed time, energy, and anticipation to my music. And not alone that, but I amount some of these songs for the meanings that they accept taken on through the eyes of strangers. —Caroline Hockenbury
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