Lydia Loveless Goes Somewhere Else

Fantasies and Delusions
by Ben Salmon

THE RECENT SXSW music festival coincided nicely with the promotional push behind Lydia Loveless’ new album. Somewhere Else was released in February by alt-country super-label Bloodshot Records, and as a result, the Ohio singer/songwriter was one of those artists in Austin this March, in town to blow through eight shows in five days, from high-powered showcases for Bloodshot and Spin magazine to lower-profile gigs like the annual party of beloved Austin rockers Grand Champeen.

The first three months of 2014 were spectacular for Loveless. The 23-year-old, who’s from a musical family, made a splash in 2011 with her second album, Indestructible Machine, a bracing country-punk record that heightened the anticipation for this year’s follow-up.

After a false start or two—Loveless says she scrapped a bunch of songs that felt like she was trying too hard to be “the epitome of alt-country”—she delivered an absolute gem.Somewhere Else finds Loveless in a fiery and confessional place, exploring the ups and downs of relationships with a lyrical bluntness that complements her powerful voice and backing band. On her third album, Loveless has turned the corner from alt-country in favor of a muscular and melodic brand of rootsy rock ‘n’ roll.

She describes the fuel for Somewhere Else as a “self-loathing sort of crisis” that left her feeling “disgusted” at her efforts to fit into not only a stylistic box but also to become a songwriting machine. “I had to just relax and let other influences come out, I think. People have talked about how it sounds so different, but to me it felt like the most natural progression in the world. I think for a while I was just trying to be too genre-oriented for the sake of pleasing people.”

Read the complete review at: The Portland Mercury