America's next pop princess?
When 23-year-old country punk Lydia Loveless recorded a single for Record Store Day 2014 -- a nationwide event happening this Saturday, April 19 -- she shocked some fans by releasing a cover of Kesha's "Blind." In addition to identifying with the pop star's irreverent spirit, Loveless wants to show her own music's great variety of influences, many of which come from the pop world.
The Ohio native's latest release, Somewhere Else, is a case in point. It features a fuller, more rock-leaning sound than previous albums. Her brutally honest attitude is still there, but it's more refined. I asked her about the record before her April 23 show at the High Noon Saloon.
Why did you cover a Kesha song for Record Store Day?
I really like Kesha, and I wanted to do ["Blind"] because she's struggling with her management and record label. I think most of her good songs are unreleased or released as bonus tracks so [the industry] can represent her as "the party animal." I wanted to take one of her more meaningful songs and just play it for what it is. It's a way of standing up for her.
With Somewhere Else, you had bunch of country songs, but then you scrapped them and expanded your approach to include more rock. Why?
I don't think I was consciously trying to [do that]. I think I was trying to make a more accessible album people could listen to and appreciate instead of trying to squeeze into a genre that I find is becoming increasingly snobby. So I had to let it go and start writing whatever came out of me.
What is the most revealing song on Somewhere Else?
"To Love Somebody." It's poppier than most of the stuff I've done. I think it led the way for the rest of the songs on the album to take that shape. And lyrically, it's a bit personal.
Speaking of personal, do you have any special memories of playing Madison?
The first time I played in Madison, it was with my old band. I was 14. Somebody fell through the [bar's] glass door and broke it. That's probably the weirdest thing that's ever happened [on tour].