"Too old to play, and too young to mess around" Lucy Dacus sings, before electric guitars drive the song onward. Her lyrical chops convey a maturity beyond her years — her songs are witty and emotionally luminous, and her hooks get stuck in your head for weeks. Package that with a captivatingly husky alto and band arrangements that range from lo-fi to lush, from power chords to hazy strumming, and it's no wonder music industry executives clambered over each other last year to declare that, far from being an awkward in-between age, Lucy Dacus has arrived.
Around the time she reached the U.S. legal drinking age last year, more than 20 record labels were bidding to re-release Dacus' debut album No Borders, which she had issued on a hometown Virginia label. Matador Records, the venerable indie brand, won the Dacus sweepstakes. Their gamble seems wise: that this musician and songwriter, as whip-smart and poised as she is, will only continue to grow.