VBS

Album: Home Video (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Lucy Dacus addresses her first love and Christian upbringing on this mellowed-out track. VBS is short for Vacation Bible School, which Dacus attended tons of times as a kid.
  • Dacus wrote the song in the van en route to Nashville to record Home Video. When the singer noticed a reader board outside a church advertising a church camp for kids, she recalled her first boyfriend, whom she met at VBS. He used to snort nutmeg, smoke weed and play Slayer at full volume, so Dacus tried to get him into God. "He was one of the kids that went to church but wasn't super into it, whereas I was defining my whole life by it," she told Apple Music. "But I've got to thank him for introducing me to Slayer and The Cure, which had the biggest impact on me."
  • Mojo magazine asked Dacus if she enjoyed Vacation Bible School or whether it was a trigger for rebellion. She replied:

    "At for time I really liked it because I really wanted things to happen in my life, and Vacation Bible School was replete with drama: There was friendship drama, there was romance, there was the drama of been really emotional about God, meeting new people from different towns - it felt like one of the only accesses to drama.

    I didn't get a satisfactory rebellion though. In college over the course of the years, without noticing, I just stopped going to church. I realized that I didn't believe some of the things or kept reframing them and re framing them to the point where I was 'should I actually call myself a Christian?' I wish that I had had a more remarkable rebellion, but it was more like a slow fade that I didn't notice was happening."
  • Lucy Dacus co-produced the song with Jake Finch, Jacob Blizard and Collin Pastore. Blizard also played bass and an assortment of electric and acoustic guitars. He contributed one of Dacus' favorite moments on the album. After the line "dark feel darker than before," Blizzard plays a brief solo on the Jerry Jones guitar. It came about after Pastore whispered in his ear, "Play like you're divorced." "Every time I hear it, I'm like, 'Man, that's so divorced,'" Dacus told Billboard.
  • Dacus' longtime creative collaborator and Home Video visual director Marin Leong directed the animated video. "A lot of the album examines navigation of self and how it evolves, and Lucy and I have often talked about bodies, the part they play in our ideation of self, and both connection and disconnection to them," Leong said. "We arrived at this world where her physical self is being distorted by the landscape that she's present in, both in a beautiful and slightly uncanny way. One of the reasons I find animation and music compelling is the freedom in world building, the ability to translate story and tone, and synthesize it into a visual landscape using imagery that isn't necessarily rooted in reality."

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