2019 captures seven one-off songs that Lucy Dacus has recorded and released throughout the year, tied to specific holidays, under the umbrella of one EP. Dacus originals like ‘My Mother & I’ appear alongside cover versions of classics - Springsteen’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’ and Édith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’ being the best.
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‘2019’, as the title might suggest, sums up these twelve months for Lucy Dacus. The singer-songwriter/boygenius member has dropped a series of tracks on significant dates throughout the year - Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, you get the idea - and these are collected on ‘2019’ along with songs she intends to release around the holiday season.
The original compositions here build on the thoughtful indie-rock balladry that Dacus has laid down on her two studio LPs. ‘Fool’s Gold’ and ‘My Mother & I’ are some of the loveliest things Dacus has written to date, their softly-keening acoustic guitars and vaguely folksy harmonies framing lyrics that are wise beyond Dacus’s 24 years. ‘Forever Half Mast’, the other Dacus-penned tune here, folds more Americana into her grunge side than we’ve previously heard.
The rest of the tracks are covers, often of rather famous songs. Generally these versions find Dacus splitting the difference between her own style and that of the original artist. Her takes on ‘Dancing In The Dark’ and ‘In The Air Tonight’ lean into the Springsteen’s power-pop fervour and Collins’s nocturnal synths respectively, and the latter boasts some nicely-rendered vocal interplay. Only on her cover of Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, a Colleen Green-style skate-punk jamboree, does Dacus drastically alter the original. The covers are fun for sure, but ‘2019’ is at its best when Dacus allows her own voice to take flight.
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- 2019 by Lucy Dacus
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