Lydia Loveless wears her scars, bruises and vulnerability on her songwriting sleeve. The Ohio-based singer/guitarist is currently riding a tidal wave of critical acclaim for her 2016 release Real [Bloodshot Records], a 10-track collection with a lyrical depth that belies Loveless’s 26 years of age. Musically, her style has moved from the raw cowpunk-meets-pop sound of previous releases to a more polished, mature sound (as evidenced on the radio track “Heaven”). On Friday, October 21, Loveless will perform at Saturn in a free Saturn Nights Showcase event with New Devils and Mandi Rae rounding out the triple-bill. Loveless recently spoke by phone from her home as she prepared to embark on an extended nationwide tour.
Weld: What went into the creation of Real?
Lydia Loveless: There’s always a few [songs] that have been around a while on every record. I started writing “More Than Ever” during the [2014 release] Somewhere Else beginnings and I scrapped it, but most of the record really came together quickly for me in a span of a few months. That’s new for me because I’m a pretty slow writer and I take my time. But this is a collection that I came up with all at once.
Weld: Are you writing currently?
Loveless: I just don’t think I’m in the right headspace for it yet. For a while I had time off and thought I should start writing another record but I hadn’t even toured [for Real] yet.
Weld: What does the rest of 2016 look like for you?
Loveless: It pretty much looks like the van. We’ll pretty much be gone from September to mid-November. We’ll go out to the west coast and try to get into Canada.
Weld: You filmed a video for the song “Longer.” If you will, talk about that experience.
Loveless: It was the first one that got released [laughs]. That was probably the easiest video shoot I’ve ever done because I pretty much just had to lay in bed with a pretty girl, look sad and eat ice cream. It was a long, 12-hour day but I like to be a little more involved. “Longer” was definitely the easiest 12-hour day of work I’ve ever been through.
Weld: You are the subject of the recently-released documentary film Who Is Lydia Loveless? How would you describe the experience? Were you able to be yourself with cameras filming you?
Loveless: They were pretty much out of the way. I was mostly concerned about it in the studio, trying to get work done and hoping people stand back and don’t get right in your face in the vocal booth. On tour, they were pretty much out of the way. Touring is really boring, which I don’t think most people realize. I think they were trying to capture these exciting moments but we were in the green room or in the van. The hardest part for me was the involved interviews because I don’t do very well on camera. I think we ended up forgetting they were there and that’s what you want when someone’s filming you. I don’t want to be performing in a documentary. I do plenty of that on stage.
Lydia Loveless will perform at Saturn on Friday, October 21. For more information, visit saturnbirmingham.com.