Within a couple years, cerebral singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus went from playing solo shows around the not-quite-national music hub of Richmond, Va. to releasing a critically acclaimed debut album and signing with indie standby Matador Records. She’s just 21, yet finding herself creatively and professionally enough to make most millennials jealous -- or at least want to ask for some advice. But if you’re looking for a viral moment, a big city scene or some all-knowing secret, you’re probably going to be left searching.
“I don’t have any weird gimmicks,” Dacus tells Billboard, stopping by the New York office for an episode of the Alt In Our Stars podcast. She pauses, then points out, “I do put on lipstick for the show. That’s what separates it. ‘Cause I don’t wear makeup at all… That’s probably the closest thing I have to a routine.”
And that’s it: Lucy Dacus the performer is essentially Lucy Dacus the person. Her craft is earnest, first-person songwriting that’s abstract enough to have you digging for meaning, or inserting yourself into her journey. It’s all painted through Dacus’s soothing vocals -- with a hint of twang -- nestled in guitar-playing that can stretch out and tangle like vines towards sunlight.