Lydia Loveless (born September 4, 1990 as Lydia Ankrom) is an American alternative countrysinger-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio. Her music combines pop, classic country, honky tonk, and punk rock.
Loveless was born in Coshocton, Ohio. Loveless grew up on a farm in a rural area outside of Coshocton and was home-schooled. She said she felt like an outcast in a town that emphasized religion and conformity, until she moved to Columbus, Ohio when she was 14.
While playing a show in Cincinnati, Loveless met producer David Rhodes Brown (500 Miles to Memphis) who went on to produce her first album, The Only Man. Loveless made the record when she was 15 years old.
Loveless and her band drove 20 hours to Austin, Texas, and ended up playing for Bloodshot Records owners Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw at the 2010 South by Southwest music festival. She later signed with Bloodshot Records in 2012.
Determined to make a more raw and edgier album, she released Indestructible Machine with songs featuring themes of frustration towards her hometown, drinking, depression, and a humorous song about being stalked by Steve Earle. Loveless recorded the album with many live takes and minimum overdubs at Sonic Lounge recording studio with engineer Joe Viers. SPIN characterized the record as standing out for “its utter lack of bullshit…roaring vocals, in her narrators' lived-in-bars recklessness, and in her overall inability to mince words."
Indestructible Machine received praise in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Spin, AllMusic, and The Washington Post. Greg Kot wrote that Loveless' "…defiant tone is matched by songs that put country and punk on equal ground, unvarnished and direct".
In 2013, Loveless released Boy Crazy, an EP. Mark Deming of AllMusic praised the release, asserting that the album "…is further proof that Loveless is a major talent, and if her next album is as good as this, she may run the risk of becoming a very big star". Rolling Stone cited Loveless as one of its "10 New Artists You Need to Know: January 2014."
In February 2014, Loveless released her third full-length record, Somewhere Else, on Bloodshot Records. Stereogum said, “Loveless is using her unmistakable voice as a songwriter…only getting better at using it to blur the line between running her mouth and pouring out her heart." Loveless was listed as one of the "5 Best New Artists for January 14" by SPIN magazine. The album had an overwhelmingly good reception[ and entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart the first week of its release at position number 7.
In August 2016, Bloodshot Records released her third studio album, Real.The AV Club called Real "…an adventurous, brutal honest sucker punch.” The Boston Globe said, "Loveless continues to manifest a remarkable combination of bruised vulnerability and desperate longing, alongside a tough, self-deprecating resilience, but there’s more of the former and less of the latter this time. She’s still preoccupied with the downsides of love: longing for something you don’t (or can’t) have, the inevitable dissolution of whatever you manage to find (and the difficulty of finding it in the first place), and the emotional pitfalls of navigating it."
Loveless has toured with artists such as Jason Isbell, Iron & Wine, Old 97's, Drive-By Truckers, Scott H. Biram, and the Supersuckers. Her music has been praised by Rolling Stone, NPR, Pitchfork, SPIN, Stereogum, Chicago Tribune, and more. She was the subject of the 2016 documentary Who Is Lydia Loveless?, directed by Gorman Bechard.