Acceptance can come in many different forms. We accept the life we are give, we accept outcomes of stories and we accept that music is a subjective medium. So when artist Lucy Dacus wrote her follow up to 2016’s debut No Burden, there was an acceptance among critics that the songwriter would bring something special to the table.

The result is Historian, which in itself is a tale of the songwriter coming to terms with different aspects of her own life told beautifully across 10 tracks.

If you are unfamiliar with Dacus, from the opening of the first track on this record ‘Night Shift’ you will sit up and take notice. There is something in her tone and delivery which means you are hanging on her every word, which can be a difficult task for many songwriters, but Dacus does it with such ease.

The first words we hear on this record “The first time I tasted somebody else spit I had a coughing fit” is a marker that this is going to be a record that isn’t going to pull any punches.

For all the wonder and focus on Dacus’ vocal and lyrical content the music on this record is a breath of fresh air as well. When you have a singer that has such a presence the music can sometimes take a back seat, but here that is not the case. In songs like ‘Nonbeliever’ where there is a beautiful string section and a real groove to the guitars melody it really enhances the subjects of the songs.

The sound of Historian is much richer and fuller; it has a timeless rock and roll feeling that finds a sweet spot between the breezy and driving pop-rock of Stevie Nicks and the lyrical incisiveness and combustible edge of Liz Phair.

It is this blend which lends itself to one of the stand out tracks, ‘Yours and Mine’. It sounds like an internal struggle, but as the song reaches its crescendo it is a discovery of inner power to be the best version of yourself.

In an era when people are quick to focus on the negatives in a bad way, it appears that Dacus has taken the struggles in her life and turned them on their head to make an absolutely stunning album which only gets better after each listen.

Historian is out on March 2 via Matador Records.

By Tim Birkbeck

Lover of all things music, wrestling and movies. The dream would be to interview Seth Rollins during a Modern Life is War show before going to watch a kick-ass film. Lives on the South Coast, Straight Edge