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