Switched On Pop | Growing Pains (with Lucy Dacus)
A podcast breaking down the music of pop hits.
Switched On Pop
Published 06 July 2021
Lucy Dacus

Growing up is never easy. But pop songs about adolescence too often gloss over the complicated moments. The “teenage dream” archetype is just a pop culture fantasy. And no one really wants to be 17 forever.

On her new album “Home Video”, Lucy Dacus talks about youthful growing pains. She remembers the uncomfortable moments. Dacus says that “a lot of childhood is crisis mode… you get pushed around by the world and the rules that are set for you”. Her songs examine unequal power relationships between parents and friends and lovers.

On the lighter side, the album opens up with “Hot And Heavy”, which takes us back to the scene of an early romantic encounter on a basement sofa, red faced and awkward. But by the next song, “Christine”, the amorous feelings fade: “He can be nice, sometimes / Other nights, you admit he's not what you had in mind”. Bad dads, bible camp indoctrination, and perpetual peer pressure all take the stage in Dacus’ coming of age album.

Dacus says that writing about those years is “a process of extorting control over things that I didn’t have control over at the time”. With untethered teenage dreams safely behind her, Dacus now gets to reclaim the meaning of youth: “I am the narrator of my own life so I get to say what this meant”.

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