I’m new to the Lydia Loveless bandwagon. Frankly, I hadn’t heard of her until I started hearing tracks from her new album, Real, from a variety of sources along with the buzz that accompanies a new artist about to break through. I picked up her new album a bit over a week ago and have enjoyed it’s unique sound and vision.
Lydia has been around in one form or another for several years. Her earlier work was heavily influenced by two disparate musical styles, punk and traditional country. With the band establishing punk-leaning grooves, Lydia effortlessly added a barroom-tinged, snarling country vocal. To further illustrate the point, she’s been compared to artists as wide ranging as Loretta Lynn, Stevie Nicks, and the Replacements. She often performs covers from artists like Prince and Elvis Costello in her live shows adding to the unusual ancestry from which her music springs.
On Real, she’s found a compelling blend of punk, traditional country, and pop that feels unique to her. Earlier fans may be disappointed that some of the rough edges have been removed but in many ways this allows the songcraft to show through more clearly. Always acknowledged as a strong lyricist, Lydia plumbs new depths on Real.In fact, lyrically she chooses to embrace a subtly in wordplay exceeding her prior work. These songs need a moment to breathe to fully be appreciated.
Her record company, Bloodshot Records, describes Lydia’s new album in this way, “Real is one of those exciting records where you sense an artist truly hitting their stride, that their vision is both focused and expansive, and that their talent brims with a confident sense of place, execution and exploration.” Lydia is currently on an extensive tour supporting Real.
For me, stand out tracks include Longer, which appears to be the single from the album, Real, and European. Here’s the official video for Longer:
And here’s a heavier live version of Real from this year’s SXSW festival:
Lastly, here’s a live version of Clumps, the most stripped down song from the album.