With No Burden, Lucy Dacus is going places.
Lucy Dacus is on her first big tour across the U.S., and she’s ready to come home. “The biggest tour I ever did before was two weeks,” says the Hanover County native, calling from the road. “A month is a whole ‘nother game.”
Early in 2016, Rolling Stone listed Dacus as one of the 10 new artists that music fans need to know. Sealing the 20-year-old singer-songwriter’s status as indie-rock’s new “It Girl,” her debut album No Burden became a SPIN Magazine pick of the week, propelled by the single “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore.” Everyone from Pitchfork to NPR has raved about the album, and the husky-voiced singer is in flux, caught between the grassroots house show circuit she’s comfortable with and larger venues where she’s been playing to new audiences hyped by the admiring critics.
Lucy Dacus, "I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore"
The music video for "I Don't Wanna be Funny Anymore" from Lucy Dacus' new album No Burden.
“It’s a weird transition tour,” she says, speaking from the van where she and her four-piece band are en route to a gig in Providence, Rhode Island. “I had been booking it myself before the album came out ... so it’s a weird combination of small shows where we are headlining and festivals and opening slots.” She adds, “I have a booking agent now.”
Dacus’ appealing blend of girl pop and smoldering atmospherics have seen her compared to other modern young chanteuses from Sharon Van Etten to Courtney Barnett, but her songs are her own, with hypnotic melodies and wry, wise-beyond-her-years lyrical flourishes.
The singer, who attended Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and interrupted studies at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts to start her music career, grew up in a house filled with sound. Mom Sandy was active in musical theater, while dad Ben was a longtime guitar player.
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Lucy Dacus, "Troublemaker Doppelganger"
"Troublemake Doppelganger," from No Burden.
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Lucy Dacus, "Strange Torpedo"
"Strange Torpedo," from No Burden.
Dacus enjoys touring and playing her music but, after a month of van life, she’s getting homesick. “I really don’t know any other city but Richmond,” she says. “We are forever comparing it to these other cities. You really find out what you care about when you leave your place.”
What does she miss most? “The first thing that came to mind was the Banh Mi at the Naked Onion. The sandwich. But the actual answer is the river. The James is the best river ever.” LucyDacus.BandCamp.com