Lucy Dacus talks about revisiting adolescence on 'Home Video'

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For her new album, singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus combed through her teenage journals to gain perspective on her Christian upbringing and sexuality.
Lucy Dacus once put her mortal soul at risk for the sake of a Snow Patrol song.

Now an acclaimed 26-year-old singer and songwriter with one of the year's most insightful albums in "Home Video," Dacus at the time was a teenager who'd come up square against an authority figure at Baptist church camp.

"The pastor was making everyone delete all the secular music off their iPods, and I literally got into a fight with him over 'Chasing Cars,'" she recalls, referring to the limpid mid-2000s power ballad famous for its appearance in "Grey's Anatomy." "I said, 'This song, you can imagine it's about God.' And he was like, 'But if the musicians aren't believers, you're still supporting people that don't believe in God.'" She laughs. "I told him I didn't agree and that I wouldn't do it."

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Dacus' Martin Luther moment was just one of the many vivid adolescent experiences she combed through (as set down in her old journals) to find inspiration for the sharply rendered songs on "Home Video," her third LP. Elsewhere the Richmond, Va., native revisits a heated encounter in "the basement of your parents' place" and examines time she spent as a teenager with an older man; "Thumbs" channels her anger with a friend's abusive father, while "Triple Dog Dare" ponders a complicated friendship that helped her understand her sexuality.

Ahead of a concert Friday night at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, Dacus — who also plays in the indie supergroup Boygenius with fellow songwriters Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker — spoke with The Times about "Home Video," her current thoughts on religion and her recent experimentation with psychedelics.

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