Lydia Loveless channels past music legends in new eclectic masterpiece
Born in 1990 in Ohio, Lydia Loveless has been around music her whole life. Her entire family being musical, Loveless gravitated towards different sounds from country to punk. Her specific style of country music was discovered at 15 years old by David Rhodes Brown, the man later credited with the production behind her first album, The Only Man, in 2010. Since then she has released a slew of albums, singles, live records and music videos. Her success has been carried by her honky-tonk Loretta-Lynn-like emotion mixed with the power of Pat Benatar.
Many times while listening to an album all the way through, the songs begin to get muddled and blend together. This is not one of those albums. In her new 2020 album Daughter, Loveless is able to combine various aspects of various types of music to create her own original sound. It seems that with each song, a new piece of a genre or a new element has been added to her classic Loveless rhythm. Every track on this record seems to have its own personality and its own “something” to say.
The album begins on a solemn note with the song “Dead Writer,” a lone guitar and an invite into “my bachelor pad” that she mentions she “stays here when things get bad.” The song then begins to open up and drums and more guitars come to back up the original instrument. Keeping a solemn tone the entire song, the narrator reflects on drinking after a lost love.
Two songs later comes the high point on the album, and one of the most diverse tracks on the entire project, “The Wringer.” Solemnity is thrown out for a funk groove similar to the likes of Prince. Loveless of course puts her own spin on it, adding an acoustic guitar for depth. It feels that this depth was a good decision considering this song is about a woman being fed up with a relationship always putting her through “the wringer.” In another stunning example of musical variance and track independence, “Never” opens with three piano chords and a synth note carrying in the background. The song then progresses into a bass-heavy punk track that reminiscent of an old Red Hot Chili Peppers record.
The album is concluded with two tracks that again remind people of the versatility of this artist. The first of the final tracks is titled “September.” A solely piano ballad, this song reflects on the difficulties of aging. “September” allows for Loveless’s trembling yet powerful voice to shine through. The final song is a psychedelic trip through the mental decision of giving up; it’s called “Don’t Bother Mountain.” Full of swooning synths and bass, this unhurried feel describes her feeling of climbing “the summit of don’t bother mountain.”
Loveless is able to keep herself and her music grounded while also borrowing from many different sources. By keeping herself rooted, people are able to get a fantastic glimpse of who Loveless is as an artist not only through her music, but through her musical influences. When the artist is able to shine through their record, when the artist can keep an album engaging song to song and when the artist can do something different, a great album is made, and this is exactly what Lydia Loveless did with Daughter.