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Mission Creek Festival: Lucy Dacus

with Tasha, Elizabeth Moen

 $15 – $20

  Englert Theatre

Event Description

Ticket Information:

Included with festival pass
Individual tickets:$15 – $20 plus fees

Box Office Info:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
12:30pm - 5:30pm
Closed Monday & Thursday
(319) 688-2653

Dacus uses her gift as a songwriter to help understand and cope with the world around her, including making sense of national holidays, often more geared towards social media boasts and manufactured consumerism than authentic celebration. “What is going on,” she asks herself on these days, retreating from the heightened expectations of holidays to figure out what to make of them and to find her own meaning. “I’ve collected some songs from trying to answer that question,” she says, and “this series seems like the right place to put them next to each other. These songs are self-contained, not indicative of a new direction, just a willingness to do something different and sometimes even out of character.”

2018 was a milestone year for Richmond, VA’s Lucy Dacus. Her widely celebrated sophomore record, Historian, was met by a cavalcade of critical elation, with NPR, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NBC News, Slate, The Atlantic, Billboard, Paste, Stereogum, and more choosing it as one of the best albums of the year. Her collaborative EP as 1/3 of boygenius (with Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers) landed on many of those same lists, plus Newsweek, The New Yorker, Esquire, and the New York Times. She played revelatory sold-out shows at clubs and festivals alike, and appeared on television sets across the country on CBS This Morning, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Last Call With Carson Daly.

With a sultry and intoxicating voice, Elizabeth Moen lures you in. Paired with introspective lyrics that echo both bitter and sweet, her music will captivate you then stay with you. “Moen is one of those rare artists whose voice, from the first moment you hear it, consumes your entire being, doing away with all previous thoughts and concerns, and leaving you short of breath (The Culture Trip).”

On her sophomore LP A Million Miles Away, Moen tackles the complexities that coincide with the basic need for growth. At points lighthearted and somber, and even wry, her lyrics mirror what it’s like to be alive: to wake up each day and attempt to balance the myriad of emotions that go along with being human. In “Triple Scoop” this all perfectly comes together in relation to the age-old problem of sweet, melting ice cream meeting concrete (“Triple scoop sorbet splattered on the sidewalk / Bit of cherry pie hanging off your lip / Why wipe it away, it’s just you and me talking? You’re the cherry on top of my double chocolate chip”). Throughout the album’s eight songs, you are reminded that it’s possible (and ok!) to feel broken and carefree, nostalgic and hopeful, to be utterly content but still have an incredible sense of longing.

Hailing from the small town of Vinton, Iowa located in the middle of the heartland, Moen taught herself how to play guitar as a teenager. It was peer pressure that caused her to write her first song and shortly thereafter, she immersed herself in the writing community of Iowa City while finishing up her studies in French and Spanish at the University of Iowa. Inspired by a mix of modern artists such as Alabama Shakes, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen and Lake Street Dive (who she has supported), and older influences like Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell, Moen isn’t locked into a single style.

On A Million Miles Away her songs shift fluidly; Opener “Red” and “Best I Can Do” portray the soulful side of her voice while “Triple Scoop” and “Matilda” recall folky, summer pop. “Don’t Say I” and “Bad to Myself” pull in heavier tones, augmented by her 1968 Gibson ES-340, while the final tracks, “Time is a Shitty Friend” and “Planetarium,” act as closing arguments for the album. The two tracks encapsulate aspects of each preceding track, at times both heavy and soft – equal parts whimsy (“Cuz I’m high and I’m reading about stars and shit”) and sadness (“…and it’s feeding / My thoughts about us together in some other universe”), while the echo of a longing to be “a million miles away” plays out.

A Million Miles Away follows Moen’s 2016 (self-titled EP) and 2017 (That’s All I Wanted LP) releases that took her on tour throughout the Midwest and Western United States alongside Europe. During this time she has acted as direct support for Lake Street Dive, Margaret Glaspy, Becca Mancari, Houndmouth, William Elliott Whitmore (featured on her 2017 LP), Lissie, Buck Meek and has had her music placed in films including the Netflix original movie “Candy Jar.” In support of her new album, Moen embarked on her first national headlining tour with dates in major cities including Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, and Nashville.

Released September 1, Moen’s new album is a testament to its theme: growth. A Million Miles Away is a moving, passionate exploration of internal and external change. In Moen’s own words, “the base of the eight tracks revolves around the idea that there needs to be and will be growth. That can be for someone you love, for yourself, for a new relationship, or for closure from an old one. I’ve grown a lot writing these. I hope that these songs will make you feel that way or another too.”

On her debut album ALONE AT LAST, Tasha celebrates the radical political act of being exquisitely gentle with yourself. For years, the Chicago songwriter has dreamed hard of a better world — she’s worked with the local racial justice organization BLACK YOUTH PROJECT 100 and has been on the front lines at protests around the city. But as she returned to the guitar, an instrument her mother first taught her to play when she was 15 years old, she began exploring the ways music can be a powerful force for healing. It might not fix a deeply broken world all by itself, but it can offer comfort and respite for those who, like her, dare to imagine a thriving future.

Across ALONE AT LAST’S seven tracks, Tasha sings mantras of hope and restoration over lush guitar lines inspired by the stylings of Nai Palm and Lianne La Havas — both artists who, like Tasha, opt for a sweetness in their playing over the masculinized bravado that often accompanies the electric guitar. “YOU/TAKE CARE OF YOUR LITTLE BODY,” Tasha urges on the record’s spoken word opener. On “KIND OF LOVE,” she paints falling for someone as the gateway to a new world where anything’s possible, and on “SOMETHING ABOUT THIS GIRL,” she notes the profound strength that comes from vulnerability: “ALL HER SOFTNESS MAKE HER TOUGH.”

“THESE SONGS ARE BED SONGS,” Tasha says of Alone At Last. “SONGS ABOUT THE PLACE THAT ONE MIGHT GO WHEN THEY FINALLY NEED TO BE AWAY FROM WHATEVER IT IS THAT MIGHT BE CAUSING THEM STRESS OR ANXIETY OR SADNESS OR FEAR.” In the world she conjures within the album, there’s plenty of room to forge your own home where you can rejuvenate and heal — where you don’t have to be a superhero and you don’t have to save the world all by yourself, where nothing is expected of you except that you just be. It’s the kind of album you can curl into after a hot summer day in the city: a powerful talisman in a demanding world, and a reminder that kindness toward the self can help unlock the way to a world a little more livable than this one.

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