Lucy Dacus officially released ‘Thumbs’ as a single yesterday (March 9).
The track has long been a favourite of Dacus’ live shows, having first featured in the singer-songwriters sets in 2018.
Speculation that Dacus would release ‘Thumbs’ as a single came to a head late last month, when she mailed VHS tapes of the song to a selection of fans. Listen to ‘Thumbs’ below:
In a press release, Dacus explained the origins of the song.
“Like most songs I write, I wasn’t expecting it and it made me feel weird, almost sick,” she said.
“It tells the story of a day I had with a friend during our freshman year of college, a significant day, but not one that I had thought of for years.
“I started playing it live a month or so later during the boygenius tour after [bandmates] Phoebe [Bridgers] and Julien [Baker] encouraged me to. I knew I wanted a long time to get used to playing it since it made me feel shaky, so I ended sets with it for about half the shows I played in 2019.
“Before I played it, I would ask the audience to please not record it, a request that seems to have been respected, which I’m grateful for.”
In late February, fans who received videotapes of the song shared a variety of reactions online.
“I would like @lucydacus to explain this to me before my wife throws a fit. #suspiciousmail,” one Twitter user wrote.
— Lucy Dacus (@lucydacus) February 25, 2021
— dustin. johns. (@dustinjohns) February 25, 2021
Elsewhere, a Reddit user who received one of the tapes offered more detail on what it contains: “She has performed it live a bunch (I actually heard her perform it at Webster Hall in 2019). This version is super sparse and the song itself is devastating.
“There is no video to accompany it — it’s just a blue screen with a looping image of a VHS spinning”.
The release of ‘Thumbs’ marks Dacus’ first new recorded material since last year’s appearance on a new version Hamilton Leithauser’s ‘Isabella’.
Meanwhile, Dacus and her boygenius bandmates continue to contribute to each others’ solo records, with Julien Baker‘s new single ‘Favor’ being the latest to see the trio – also including Phoebe Bridgers – combine their voices on record.
The track was the third preview of Baker’s third album ‘Little Oblivions’, which arrived on February 26 via Matador.
boygenius released a self-titled EP in 2018, and have since teamed up on Bridgers’ track ‘Graceland Too’ from her 2020 album ‘Punisher’ as well as providing backing vocals on ‘Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris’, a track from the debut solo album by Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams.