Blessed with a commanding, blast-it- to-the- back-of- the-room voice, the 25-
year-old Lydia Loveless was raised on a family farm in Coshocton,
Ohio—a small weird town with nothing to do but make music. With a dad
who owned a country music bar, Loveless often woke up with a house full
of touring musicians scattered on couches and floors. She has turned this
potential nightmare scenario (eww....touring musicians smell...) into a
wellspring of creativity.
When she got older, in the time-honored traditions of teenage rebellion,
she turned her back on these roots, moved to the city (Columbus, OH) and
immersed herself in the punk scene, soaking up the musical and attitudinal
influences of everyone from Charles Bukowski to Richard Hell to Hank III.
Loveless's Bloodshot debut album Indestructible Machine combined
heady doses of punk rock energy and candor with the country classicism
she was raised on and just can’t shake; it was a gutsy and unvarnished
mash-up. It channeled ground zero-era Old 97s (with whom she later
toured) but the underlying bruised vulnerability came across like Neko
Case’s tuff little sister. Indestructible Machine possesses a snotty
irreverence and lyrical brashness that’s an irresistible kick in the pants.
On her second Bloodshot album Somewhere Else, released after a few 7"
singles and an EP, Loveless was less concerned with chasing approval –
she scrapped an entire album’s worth of material before writing the set –
and more focused on fighting personal battles of longing and heartbreak,
and the aesthetic that comes along with them. While her previous album
was described as “hillbilly punk with a honky-tonk heart” (Uncut), this one
couldn’t be so quickly shoehorned into neat categorical cubbyholes. No,
things were different this time around—Loveless and her band collectively
dismissed the genre blinders and sonic boundaries that came from playing
it from a safe, familiar place. Creatively speaking, ifIndestructi