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Missed connections, unstated passions and unsparing honesty shape the narrative of the searing third album from Lucy Dacus, who rakes through still-smoking ashes of the past to tell stories of growing up without armor. While this observant singer-songwriter has always excelled in setting corrosive emotions to beautiful, understated guitar pop, Home Video is her most potent work yet, offering sharp, memoir-style accounts that can be uncomfortably direct. From the “heavy memories weighing on my brain” of “Hot & Heavy,” to the urge to violently avenge an emotionally abused friend in “Thumbs,” to the gentle collision of propriety and rebellion in “VBS” (vacation Bible school), Dacus’ gift for sketching vivid vignettes is stunning. If her songs often seem to revolve around specific girlfriends lost or otherwise out of reach, the universal longing for love that she evokes so eloquently should resonate with anyone who’s known an aching heart.
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