I spent the majority of my time listening to Lydia Loveless’ new album, Somewhere Else, fighting an angel and a devil on each of my shoulders. The angel whispered, “Wow! This sounds a lot like Neko Case or classic country badasses like June Carter Cash!” Just as quickly, the devil urged, “I don’t know. Her voice kind of reminds me of Jewel.” By the end of the record, though, the angel ultimately won.
This 10-song, February 18 release seems to center mostly on love and relationships. Not surprising coming from an artist with an old-country sound. What makes this album – Loveless’ third – a bit more three-dimensional are the different angles from which she attacks the topic.
Of course, there are the more conventional love songs. “To Love Somebody” explores the meaning of love to a rather twang-y guitar backdrop, while “Really Wanna See You” is all about lusting after someone from your past. But Somewhere Else’s final track, “They Don’t Know,” really stole my heart. It’s a simple, sweet song of adoration that reminds us a lot of, yes, Johnny and June.
The songs that make this album a knockout, though, are the more complex ones, the tracks that shed a new light on relationships. “Head” is about – well, I think you can guess. Loveless’ guitar solo, paired with the rest of the instrumentals, proves this song to be the closest the release gets to an indie-pop sound. Similarly, “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud,” our favorite track, shocks the listener. From the words sung to the notes played, this song is painfully honest, laying Loveless bare to her audience.
All in all, Somewhere Else is honest, catchy, and classically country. I only wish the tracks had sounded a bit more distinct – by the end of the record, I could barely remember one from the other. Loveless has certainly perfected her sound, but should remember to tweak it every once in awhile.
Kate Foster is a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated titles: writer. Blogger. Beauty and fashion junkie. Cat devotee. Art history buff. Harry Potter nerd. Cheesy 90's television fan. Sometimes-gamer. Seasonal sculptor. Mostly she’s a music enthusiast. While her heart and soul belong to 50's and 60's crooners like Etta James, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, one shouldn’t be surprised to find her listening to Lady Gaga or Jay-Z. Most days, though, she’s in an indie-punk mood somewhere in between - she counts the Pixies, the White Stripes, M83, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a few of her favorites. And while you’ll typically see her bobbing her head calmly at concerts, occasionally she pulls out all the stops for bands like the Black Lips. She treasures her bruises like a child. After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Art History, Kate aspires to move to New York City. There, she hopes to continue to write. She also plans on pretending to understand the art at MoMA and stuffing her face with cronuts and one dollar pizza. Kate’s heroes range from Oscar de la Renta and Mindy Kaling to Ernest Hemingway and Rupert Giles. She practically inhales iced coffee on a daily basis. Her favorite color is yellow, and like Buddy the Elf, she considers candy a major food group. She has dreams almost every night involving the coolest architecture and interior design, and has no idea what it means. Seriously, what does that mean?!