Lucy Dacus works double time at Johnny Brenda's - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Lucy Dacus | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

It feels like just yesterday when Lucy Dacus burst onto the scene with No Burden, her 2016 debut album, but she’s already released an even better follow up. It’s called Historian, and every track on it was performed by Dacus and her band Friday night at Johnny Brenda’s. In fact, they were played twice. The venue decided to add a second show on the same night just to meet Philly’s demand for the Richmond, VA singer songwriter – confirming a revelation that one of indie rock’s best kept secrets is a secret no longer.

Why? Well, that’s because when you write songs with catchy hooks and melodies as memorable as “Addictions,” which kicked off the setlist, the word will get around. You’ll get played on public radio, profiled on The Ringer and people will show up to your shows – even twice in one night. Spending a tour opening up for Hamilton Leithauser doesn’t hurt either. For the record, I went to the second show.

Dawning her trademark white button down and black blazer with blue jeans and black boots, Dacus followed up “Addictions” with “The Shell” and “Nonbeliever,” both from Historians. In fact, it wasn’t until about three quarters of the way through the show until she played three songs in a row from No Burden: “Dream State…,” “…Familiar Place” and “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore.” – not that anybody minded. Dacus had the crowd silently mesmerized during the softest, most somber moments of the show, but had also had the audience singing along and nodding their heads during the most cathartic. She’s new enough at performing that she can’t yet hold back a smile when she peers into the audience from behind her spectacles to find fans singing along to her songs. She thanked them for that during the show.

After the brief set of songs from No Burden, Dacus closed out the set with Historian‘s “Night Shift.” She came back to the stage for a rendition of “Historians” to close out the show for good, only to reveal that when Dacus sang the lyrics “you’ve got addictions too” during the night’s opening number, she was right. We do have addictions, and it’s Lucy Dacus we’re addicted to.

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