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Savannah Stopover: Lucy Dacus 

LUCY DACUS is wise beyond her years.

She speaks with maturity, assertion and poise, the same traits that carry through in her songs. Historian is a compelling, insightful album that Dacus has said is the album she needed to make. Its ten songs discuss loss and hope with the sense of a much older person.

At only 23, Dacus has a long career ahead of her as well as a definitive album she’s proud to have made. It’s an artist’s sweet spot, and she comes to Savannah Stopover at a swell of success.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ELIZABETH WEINBERG
  • Photo by Elizabeth Weinberg

We spoke with Dacus last week.

I’ve been listening to your cover of “La Vie en Rose” a lot. How did you decide you wanted to cover that song in particular?

I’ve been covering it for years, since middle school because I’ve been singing it. I sing it to myself and then once I learned how to play guitar, I’d play it at shows. It’s always a song that’s been present. I felt like a recording needed to happen, recording without knowing how or when it would come out. That’s what’s nice about this holiday EP project is there’s a ton of songs like that that happened to have this underlying thread of a holiday-esque theme.

Tell me more about that project.

Through the year, I’m putting out songs around holidays or significant events. Some of them were just made-up holidays just to get the songs out there, like Bruce Springsteen’s birthday and Taurus season—my mom and I are both Tauruses.

These songs, I had been recording because I wanted recordings of them. I didn’t know how they’d come out. They didn’t fit on any album, and I guess I just figured out they have this element in common where they’re based around holidays or events or celebrations, things that happen annually. I think putting stuff out the whole year is casual and low stakes. I don’t feel nervous about any of it. It’s not a high-stake thing, like putting out a whole album. None of the songs denote a new direction. It’s nice to share things consistently.

Let’s talk about your album Historian. I’ve read that you said this is the album you needed to make, which is as high-stakes as it can get.

That was high-stakes. It really expressed something vital to who I am as a person and an artist. Now that that’s out and people have access to the most important part of where my head is at, everything else is going to be better understood. It felt like a really important part of a context of who I am as a person. I feel way more free.

I think the way I laid out the album, it’s a lot about loss and hope. I want people to know that as a person, I’m trying to communicate hope and the possibility of growing your own hope and getting through loss. [It’s about] not looking away from difficulty and looking straight at it, and knowing you have the strength to do those things. I’m trying to cultivate that in myself, and I hope that comes through.

What do you hope people learn about you through Historian?

I think the main takeaway is the responsibility that carries. I’m very conscious of the fact that not everybody gets a platform, and if you get one, you should really be caring about the people granting you that. I care a lot about the people who care about my music. Not everyone needs the same thing. That’s why I thought it was important to talk about hope, because I think everyone shares a need for hope. Hope can only do good. Overall, I think that’s what I want to do with most songs.

What’s next for you?

I’m definitely always working on an album. I’ve been writing a lot, and I’ll probably end up recording. I don’t know when, and there’s a big question mark there. It’s captivating to me a lot of the subject matter and the way we’re going to record and the way we’re going to put it out. I love having all this time ahead to meet people. I’m really excited about what’s next.

cs

Lucy Dacus will perform at Savannah Stopover's opening night Thurs., Mar. 7, Ships of the Sea North Garden at 8:30 p.m. Opening night tickets $24. Single day passes $39. Full festival passes $89. Visit savannahstopover.com.

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