As far as stopgap EPs go this is very good. It’s a bunch of single tracks collected up and gathered here under a clever-enough theme (holidays; a different song for each holiday, mix of covers and originals) but it ultimately exists to make sure people don’t forget about Dacus in the gap until her next album-proper.
She had a great 2018 – releasing her own album Historian (brilliant) and joining forces with friends Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers to make the band boygenius (even releasing a self-titled EP). So that’s mostly meant that 2019 has been good enough too – with people still catching up.
But it’s still a gap to bridge until her new record and so we have the seven songs that form the 2019 EP.
Fool’s Gold for New Year’s, La Vie En Rose for Valentines, My Mother & I for Mother’s Day, Forever Half Mast for July 4, Dancing in The Dark for Bruce Springsteen’s birthday (!), In The Air Tonight for Halloween and Last Christmas for, er, Christmas.
That’s the order, the tracklisting.
And there’s really only one dud – the closer, the cover of Wham!’s Yuletide ballad; here punked-up in a sorta Avril Lavigne/Sum 41 way. It reminds me of the gross, icky, novelty-cover era. And that’s not something I want to think back on. Somewhere else you’ll read that it’s clever, funny, playful and pop-tastic. To that I say a hearty gofuckoff!
But I do like the other covers.
Bruce’s Dancing is a bit obvious – as both a song-selection (everyone covers that, and in her bouncy rendition which is not at all shit but somehow not enough to feel like the real statement that Dacus covering The Boss could/should have been).
The cover of In The Air Tonight copies the arrangement of Collins’ original but seems to work better than Dancing. It just seems a good time for a Collins cover and the fact that she chose it to represent for Halloween is funny too; an ‘eerie’ pop song apparently. An fair enough too.
My favourite cover here though is La Vie En Rose, which Lucy sings in both French and English – it really suits her voice and here she gets to ‘punk it up’ a bit without it feeling like any sort of easy-gimmick.
It’s the originals though that really get to the goods of what Lucy Dacus does with a song, particularly My Mother & I; a must for Nadia Reid and Tiny Ruins fans. It’s in that ilk.
Forever Half Mast is good too – assessing the country for where it’s at; these times, this worry.
She remains a great talent – and in terms of creating some space to work on a full new album but keeping people on board with where she’s at this is a great wee listen. It doesn’t quite fire up fully, but you get the feeling she knows she didn’t need to. This is folly-made-good, made so too because she is so good.
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