Share

2016
| BS 239
$11.95

Real

Deluxe LP is on 180-gram vinyl and includes digital download card

Named one of 2016's best albums by Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Salon, AV Club, American Songwriter, and more!

Struggles between balance and outburst, infectious choruses fronting emotional torment are sung with a sneer, a spit, or a tenderness and openness that is both intensely personal and universally relatable. It is, as the title suggests, real.

Full Description

Real was recorded at Sonic Lounge Studios on her home turf of Columbus, OH and was engineered and produced by Joe Viers. “I chose to work with Joe Viers, engineer and producer of my last three releases, again because I trust him completely not only with my music but with my words,” Lydia said. “There was a lot to say this time around and I wanted to return to that sort of playground and (sometimes literally) throw things at the wall. Whereas our previous records could be described as blunt or raw, this one I wanted to be known as honest, as true, as real (rimshot),” she added.

Real is one of those exciting records where you sense an artist truly hitting their stride, that their vision is both focused and expansive, and that their talent brims with a confident sense of  place, execution and exploration.  Whether you've followed Lydia's career forever, like us, or if you are new to her ample game, Real is gonna grab your ears.

On her first two Bloodshot full-length releases (2014's Somewhere Else and 2011's Indestructible Machine) there were fevered comparisons to acknowledged music icons like Loretta Lynn, Stevie Nicks, Replacements, and more: She's half this, half that, one part something else. We hate math.  But, now Real and Lydia Loveless are reference points of their own.  Genre-agnostic, Lydia and her road-tightened band pull and tease and stretch from soaring, singalong pop gems, roots around the edges to proto-punk. There are many sources, but the album creates a sonic center of gravity all its own.  Song to song, moment to moment, you may find yourself thinking "that could be..." or "there are moments of..." but you are quickly transported away to another moment, another thought, another sound, another shot at honesty.

Always a gifted writer, Lydia gives the full and sometimes terrifying, sometimes ecstatic force of the word "real."  Struggles between balance and outburst, infectious choruses fronting emotional torment are sung with a sneer, a spit, or a tenderness and openness that is both intensely personal and relatably universal  It is, as the title suggests, real.

But what is "real"? 

In the hands of a performer like Lydia, however, it is cast to almost Plantonic depths:

"We refer only to things fully formed and everlasting as "real". If a marriage ends it was "fake" and everything was a "lie". We ask if quickly made up tunes are "real songs". The veil of depression causes to wonder if we're real people, feeling discarded, sitting at the kid's table. Am I real even if I stayed in bed all day? Is love real even when it's over or goes entirely unfulfilled? Are we real after we die, even if no one remembers us? Or is anything temporary merely a fake, a phony, a stand in. I was thinking about this a lot when I was writing these songs. What makes someone, even someone lacking the confident to show their true selves a "real" authentic person.
 
When I strip away my vices who am I really. Am I only myself when I'm dancing on a table and making the most vulgar of wisecracks, even though I hate that person, it gets a rise out of myself. The party monkey side. But the side with any amount of grace is often met with concern or disdain. Who are you really, at the end of the day, entirely alone, without all the daydreams and the bullshit and the performance art we go through all day every day, even non performers or as we call them, "normal" peopleBecause I feel like I spent my formative years flopping around like a fish, masking pain with substance abuse and somewhat ashamed of who I was—a hayseed, a phony, I felt—it was absolutely necessary for me to become a stronger, more confident human, or I was going to die. Real is my sort of love letter to that realization, that my existence was just as valid as any other.”

Loveless is joined on the album by Todd May (vocals, guitars, keys), Ben Lamb (bass), Jay Gasper (guitars, pedal steel, keys), George Hondroulis (drums, percussion, keys), Andy Harrison (guitar, keys) and Viers (percussion, guitar).

Short Description
Lydia Loveless Real Album Art Bloodshot Records
  • A darker, tougher sound, somewhere between the stuck-in-the-city riffs of prime Strokes and the ‘70s pop-rock flare of the early Heartbreakers (Johnny Thunders or Tom Petty — pick one).

    — The Bluegrass Situation
  • She’s a lover, not a fighter, but she knows that the distinction gets awfully blurry, too. Real is the sound of someone floating in the stars, but reaching tenderly for the gutter.
     

    — The Ringer
  • The vibe of the album is limitless, as if the walls began to come down around her as she was recording it. It doesn’t turn a corner as much as it digs deeper into the well of Loveless’s considerable talent and dips its toes into the waters of genre-blending in a way that her previous albums didn’t dare to.

    — MTV News
  • Country music with an indie-rock sensibility and a remarkable sense of intensity

    — ABC News
  • The songs accumulate to form their own genre.

    — NPR Fresh Air
  • Loveless loves the gutters of life, if only because she knows that’s where the greatest songs are.

    — Pitchfork
  • By finessing her musical ideas and illustrating how she processes prickly emotions, she's created a rich alternate reality

    — NPR First Listen
  • Like the lovechild of Fiona Apple and Miranda Lambert, she writes brutal songs about love's wickedness - how it shreds the heart to pieces then sutures it back together in one act.

    — Vulture
  • Words deliver the hardest shots, in a voice that doesn't back down from inconvenient truths.

    — Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
  • Real is hinged on elements of doom-and-gloom country, passionate post-punk, and infectious power-pop. It’s a fittingly emboldened aesthetic for Loveless’s fiery songwriting.

    — Fader
  • Real is even smarter, even more precise in its insights and even more merciless in its hard truths. In other words, it’s her best yet.

    — Uncut UK
  • "An assault of crunchy power-pop, but behind the confident swagger are the tinge – and twang – of vulnerability."

    — Rolling Stone
  • It’s like the Replacements soundtracking the sad aftermath of Big Star’s “Thirteen” — which is to say, it’s awesome.

    — Stereogum

Track List

  1. Same to You
  2. Longer
  3. More Than Ever
  4. Heaven
  5. Out On Love
  6. Midwestern Guys
  7. Bilbao
  8. European
  9. Clumps
  10. Real

Listen

On Tour

Apr
08
2017
May
06
2017
May
20
2017

@ Moonshiner's Ball
Irvine, KY

Also From This Artist

You May Also Dig…