This year, Lucy Dacus has been slowly releasing a series of songs collectively titled 2019, to be combined into a physical EP this fall. They’re all loosely holiday-centric; thus far she’s done “La Vie En Rose” for Valentine’s Day and “My Mother & I” for both Mother’s Day and Taurus season, and according to a press release, “Lucy’s ongoing 2019 singles series will also include tracks tied to
Springsteen’s Birthday, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s.”
Today, the singer-songwriter and boygenius member is releasing the third 2019 single, “Forever Half Mast” which commemorates the 4th of July. Or maybe commemorates is not the right word because “Forever Half Mast” is a pointedly anti-patriotic reflection on Independence Day.
The track finds Dacus utilizing a different sound to really get her point across. Americana instrumentation such as swirling pedal steel and layers of guitar build up into a rich chorus with glowing vocals. The last verse is an absolute descent into hell, piling on the fuzzy electric sounds and heavy synths just as her voice becomes echoey and less clear. The lyrics are pretty directly political, as Dacus passively observes, “We’re in a state of disarray/ United by our darkest days/ Aching from the growing pains/ They always say it’s just a phase.”
Here’s what Dacus had to say about the feeling propelling this track:
There is a daily dissonance one endures as an American wherein much of our joy is counterweighted by shame, where much of our pride lives in tandem with injustice and suffering. “Forever Half Mast” is about confronting this unavoidable culpability as an American citizen and consumer. Instead of allowing this guilt to paralyze us, we should try to let it influence us in positive ways.
Check out “Forever Half Mast” below.