by David Chiu
By now you probably know who singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus is. Thanks to word of mouth, media exposure and live shows in the last couple of months, this young 20-something from Richmond, Virginia singer/songwriter is having a breakout year due to the critical acclaim of her debut album No Burden. The record was originally released this past February as a digital release via EggHunt Records, but it’s now getting reissued via Matador Records in CD and vinyl formats. It’s an opportunity for new listeners to get acquainted with Dacus’ arresting album that balances between dynamic rockers (“Troublemaker Doppelganger,” “Strange Torpedo”) and subdued and somber numbers (“Green Eyes, Red Face,” “Familiar Place”), while showcasing her earthy alto singing. The album’s first song and single, “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” a meditation about being labeled, sets the tone of the record for its introspective cutting lyrics and driving musical energy. Perhaps the best track of the record is “Map on a Wall”—if you ever need a reason feel inspired in some way, that’s the song to take heart: “If you want to see the world you have to say goodbye cause a map does no good hanging on a wall.” Aside from the varied nature of the music between rock and folk, Dacus’ lyrics are relatable when it comes to matters of the heart. No doubt about it–No Burden is gonna be on every critics’ best of 2016 list.