Holidays are typically high points of the year for people. Whether they are high moments of enjoyment for people with their loved ones or high points of tension you want to over immediately, they’re always marked in everybody’s calendars, and people are always looking forward to them. On Lucy Dacus’s 2019 EP, Dacus ponders over the holidays rather than celebrates them. The singer-songwriter peels back the superficial coverings for some holidays and reveals a varied reflection of emotions on this seven-song ep of original songs and covers.

New Year’s Day can be a tough holiday for many. This day is often filled with drunken regrets and unfulfilled dreams as people prepare to enter another year of life. Dacus expands on this sadness on“Fool’s Gold”. Dacus’s tone is quiet and gloom, capturing the melancholy that often plagues this holiday. She continues with somber holiday takes on the track “My Mother & I”. This Mother’s Day track is not an ode to motherly love, but more so the trauma that being a daughter to a mother can bring. Her voice glistens with the guitar, which makes the song even more sad to listen. “Forever Half Mast” speeds up the pace a bit with a song about the Fourth of July. The song’s lyrical content is some of my favorite on the EP, for it raises the question: can we celebrate our history while ignoring its sins?

The covers on this EP mostly hold well, as Dacus makes them her own with her delivery of them. She turns celebrating Bruce Springsteen’s birthday into a holiday with her rock cover of “Dancing In The Dark”, which in my opinion is one of the stronger tracks on the EP. Her rendition of “La Vie En Rose” is gorgeous, but I feel her vocals sound sweeter when she sings the French language rather than English. Her covers of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” and Wham!’s “Last Christmas” are not by any means bad, but I feel they pale in comparison to the rest of the EP.Overall, Lucy Dacus’s 2019 EP is an enjoyable take on the wide variety of emotions that one can experience during the holidays, and if you’re looking for a quick listen, I think you can find enjoyment in this EP.

-Nate Sizemore