In Review: Lucy Dacus - ‘Hot & Heavy’

‘Hot & Heavy’ skews nostalgic, but Dacus has no desire to reel you in with a copy-pasted track - she’s got too much to tell you, and you’d better listen.
Posted: 23 April 2021 Words: Isaac Bartels

Oh, to be a member of boygenius. The holy trinity of melancholy indie rockers - Lucy DacusPhoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker - have spent the last 12 months releasing career-best solo work. Bridgers’ Punisher, indisputably the most praised indie record of 2020, lingers on in its seethingly restrained potency. Baker, who dropped the excellent Little Oblivions back in February, is on track to carry a similar legacy in 2021. 

And then we have Dacus. If any lead single this year has the ability to immediately sell an album as well as ‘Thumbs’, I haven’t heard it. The captivating fury of Dacus’ protagonist, barely able to contain her rage at an ill-fated evening with a close friend’s father, has maintained a hold over the indie scene since its release.

Follow-up single ‘Hot & Heavy’ skews nostalgic. Striking a similar tone to Bridgers’ ‘Kyoto’, soft chugging guitars lead the upbeat arrangement as Dacus reminisces on a sweet memory turned sour. The production this year is decidedly cleaner than her previous releases - the guzzling crunch of the guitars 2018’s Historians has yet to be found in either single. 

Hardly a problem. Dacus’ lyrics do the heavy lifting, as they so often do. “You're better than ever, but I knew you when / It's bittersweet to see you again,” she sings over multitrack vocals and a piano that sounds straight out of The War on Drugs’ ‘Under the Pressure.’ The verses remain concise yet unique. Dacus has no desire to reel you in with a copy-pasted bridge - she’s got too much to tell you, and you’d better listen.

Home Video is coming and if the album rollout is any indication, Lucy Dacus is in top form for the best-of lists come years’ end.

Home Video is out on 23rd June via Matador Records.

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