21-year-old Lucy Dacus is the rare indie rocker who lives up to the hype

Lucy Dacus' debut album, No Burden, doesn't sound like a school project, but that's how it came to be. Guitarist Jacob Blizard attended Oberlin College, and his program required that he do a project over winter break. So Dacus, who hails from Richmond, Virginia, and Blizard traveled to a Nashville studio to record an album/winter project.

Soon after the release of No Burden on small Richmond label EggHunt, about 20 other labels began fighting for the right to reissue Dacus' debut. Matador Records eventually won out, and ever since, Dacus, 21, has been hyped as an artist to watch. The designation is deserved, too. There's an intimacy and honesty to her songwriting that comes through, whether she's plowing through a tongue-in-cheek rocker like “I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore” or lazily strumming an acoustic guitar on “Trust.” (Fans of Courtney Barnett and Angel Olsen, take note.)

Dacus is at work now on her follow-up record, which may come out later this fall — this time sans a label bidding war. But that doesn't mean you should pay any less attention.