Thumbs

Album: Home Video (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Lucy Dacus detailing a day she shared with a friend and her friend's father during her freshman year of college. The dad had mistreated his daughter throughout her life, and while her friend keeps nervously smiling, Dacus pictures her thumbs on his irises, "pressing in until they burst."
  • Dacus wrote the song during a 15-minute drive to dinner in Nashville. She said what happened was significant, but something she hadn't thought about for years. Like most songs she writes, she wasn't expecting it and it made her feel "weird, almost sick."
  • Dacus first performed the song a month or so later while on tour with Boygenius, her project with Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers. Her bandmates encouraged her to share it with the audience and Dacus continued to play the tune during her shows. "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," she said.
  • The song became such a favorite from her live performances that it even had its own fan-run Twitter account. Dacus released it as a single on March 9, 2021.
  • Lucy Dacus helmed the song with her regular producers, Jacob Blizard and Collin Pastore, plus a member of her backing band, Jake Finch.
  • Lucy Dacus released "Thumbs" as the lead single from her Home Video album. When Uncut magazine asked her about the album title, she replied: "Documentation has always been a big part of my life whether in video, photo or song. I was born right around that time my parents got their first camcorder and my dad was constantly taking videos right from when I was a baby."
  • Dacus dropped a full-band version of the song titled "Thumbs Again." The reworking replicates how the track is performed live, adding to the instrumentation an electric guitar, synthesizer, and resonating percussion.

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