On Friday, October 13th, Columbus-based rock and roll musician Lydia Loveless will be releasing her new album Boy Crazy and Single(s) alongside her band members Todd May, Benjamin Lamb, Jay Gasper, and George Hondroulis. As with her 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2016 releases, Lydia captivates her audience and takes them on a journey with her writing, something that isn’t always a feasible task. Boy Crazy and Single(s) is mostly one-track in its subject matter, and it also exhibits a more folk-influenced facet to Lydia’s writing that we haven’t necessarily seen – or at least noticed – before.
Rough guitar, a solid drum beat, and we’re off. Lydia’s nabbed a country feel for her first track “All I Know”, beginning in a place where she questions how she got to this place in her life, and then leading us through a narrative where she admits she might not know what could happen, but she is very aware that she will see this person – this significant lover or love interest – again. Her intuition leads her right through the first track into “All The Time”, which picks up the pace slightly but has more of a melancholic feel to the lyrics, a more bluesy feel to the song overall. Third track “Lover’s Spat” has a 90’s alternative feel to the instrumentals, carrying at a quick clip that directly contrasts with its follow up, an all-too-relatable track called “Boy Crazy” that builds from a darker place with the instrumentals into one of the more dance-worthy tracks from this release.
“The Water” feels like pure country from the very beginning, waning guitar and soulful vocals dipping you into a suffocating world where you’re being ripped from your significant other repeatedly. “Mile High” brings the pace back up, allowing Loveless to talk/sing the majority of the lyrics in a cheeky way. “Blind” is another heart-wrenching track, Loveless singing to a past lover about letting go and allowing them to wallow in regret. With lyrics like “I’m sick and tired of the mess you made” and “you’ll miss me til the day you die,” “Blind” is the ultimate “fuck you” to the person who didn’t handle your love with the care and appreciation it deserved.
In pretty direct opposition to its predecessor, “Come Over” is a track about the push and pull you feel in the wake of a relationship, when part of you wants to work things out. “Falling Out Of Love”, however, isn’t tip-toeing around the feeling of loss in the relationship. Almost as though she wants to show every facet of heartbreak, Loveless has taken the perspective of being torn up about the relationship, not struggling for one moment with how she feels like she had in “Come Over”. “I Would Die 4 U” further proves the theory that she might want to cover all her bases, because breakups aren’t as clean as many musicians would have you believe. While Joe Blow is over here writing 12 concise tracks about being better alone and Tawny Gift is over here playing the victim, Loveless’ work goes through all of the major emotions and thought patterns that a person can truly go through in this situation, making it exponentially more relatable. Loveless rounds the work out with a beautiful, steady love ballad, more stripped down than the rest of the work.
Luckily, the speed with which music can be produced these days allows many bands and musical acts to blend genres seamlessly. Even so, it’s difficult for a known act to swap to a whole different genre in the midst of their career, and is still looked at as an adrenaline-inducing, often not ideal, move. The fact that Loveless can do something like this on her fifth full-length release – and do so successfully – shows that she isn’t afraid of anything in her art. After all, you never know who will blow you out of “The Water”.
Boy Crazy and Single(s) is out October 13th. Keep up with Lydia Loveless here.