Lydia Loveless

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Lydia Loveless
Lydia Loveless singing into a microphone and playing guitar while Ben Lamb plays a stand-up bass
Lydia Loveless (right) with bassist Ben Lamb (left) playing in Fort Collins, Colorado (2011)
Background information
Birth nameLydia Ankrom
Born (1990-09-04) September 4, 1990 (age 31)
Coshocton, Ohio
United States
OriginColumbus, Ohio
GenresPop, country, honky-tonk, alternative country, punk rock
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2008–present
Associated actsCarson Drew
MembersLydia Loveless

Lydia Loveless (born September 4, 1990; as Lydia Ankrom) is an American alternative country[1] singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio.[2] Her music combines pop music, classic country, honky tonk, and punk rock.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Loveless was born in Coshocton, Ohio, in the Newcastle area.[5] She is the daughter of Parker Chandler and has two older sisters, Eleanor Sinacola and Jessica, who now performs under the stage name "Jessica Wabbit".[2] Loveless grew up on a farm in a rural area outside of Coshocton and was home-schooled.[6][7] She said she felt like an outcast in a town that emphasized religion and conformity[3][4] until she moved to Columbus, Ohio when she was 14. She enjoyed Hank Williams III and punk-influenced country music, while also embracing popular music and rock and roll and "pretty much anything on Kemado Records."[8][9]

Her family is musical: Loveless' father was a pastor, drummer, and later country-western bar owner for a time.[8] She and her sisters played several instruments.[2] Loveless took piano lessons,[10] then began trying to play the guitar at 12.[11][12]

Loveless at DC9 (Washington DC) September 2014


Lydia Loveless performing at SXSW 2014

In 2004, Loveless, her father, and her sisters made up part of a four-member new wave pop band called Carson Drew,[10] named after the father in the Nancy Drew books. Loveless played bass.[9] The band broke up in 2007.[2]

At a show in Cincinnati where she opened for his band, Loveless met producer David Rhodes Brown (500 Miles to Memphis)[7] who went on to produce her first album, 2010's The Only Man. Loveless was not happy with the slick production of the album.[3] Loveless made the record when she was 15 years old.[13] Loveless clarified that she likes the songs she wrote, but the drawn-out process (over three years) to get the album released influenced her feelings about the project.[7][14]

Columbus attorney Steve McGann became her manager. Loveless and her band drove 20 hours to Austin, Texas, and ended up playing for Bloodshot owners Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw at the 2010 South by Southwest music festival.[14]

In 2012, signed with Bloodshot and determined to make a more raw and edgier album, she released Indestructible Machine with songs that feature themes of frustration with her hometown, drinking, depression, and a humorous song about being stalked by a man who referred to himself as Steve Earle but was not in fact the singer of Copperhead Road.[3][4][15][16] Loveless recorded the album with many live takes and a minimum of overdubs at Grove City, Ohio’s Sonic Lounge recording studio with engineer Joe Viers.[3][14] Spin characterized the record as standing out "for its utter lack of bullshit", with "roaring vocals, in her narrators' lived-in-bars recklessness, and in her overall inability to mince words."[17]

Indestructible Machine received praise from AllMusic and in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Spin, and The Washington Post.[3][4][18][19] Greg Kot wrote that Loveless' "defiant tone is matched by songs that put country and punk on equal ground, unvarnished and direct".[3][20][21]

In the Spring of 2013, Loveless did an extensive Canadian tour supporting the Supersuckers.[22] Loveless and her band also toured Scandinavia and Spain during the Fall of 2013.

Lydia Loveless singing Four Leaf Clover with the Old 97s. 9:30 Club (Washington DC) May 31, 2014

In 2013, Loveless released Boy Crazy, an EP. Mark Deming of AllMusic praised the release, asserting that the album "is further proof that Loveless is a major talent, and if her next album is as good as this, she may run the risk of becoming a very big star".[23] One of the songs, "Lover's Spat", is about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.[24]

Rolling Stone cited Loveless as one of its "10 New Artists You Need to Know: January 2014".[25]

In February 2014, Loveless released her third full-length record, Somewhere Else, on Bloodshot Records, which has a dark, "poppy" vibe.[26][27] Stereogum said Loveless is using her "unmistakable voice as a songwriter, and she's only getting better at using it to blur the line between running her mouth and pouring out her heart."[28] Loveless was listed as one of "5 Best New Artist for January 14" by Spin magazine.[29] The record includes "Head", a single Loveless wrote with her guitar player, Todd May, a fellow songwriter.[30] The album had a very positive reception[31] and entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart (new entries to Billboard charts, compiled by Nielsen SoundScan) the first week of its release at position number 7.[12][32]

In April 2014, Loveless released the Mile High/Blind 7" record for Record Store Day. The record had a non-album cut titled "Mile High" on the A side and a cover of Kesha's "Blind" on the B side. It was a limited edition release on lime green vinyl.[33] The tracks were released in digital album format on May 27, 2014.[34]

In April 2015, Loveless was part of a Record Store Day release with label-mate, Cory Branan. The two artists cover two Prince songs: Loveless doing "I Would Die 4 U" and Branan doing "Under the Cherry Moon". The 7" limited edition releases were also pressed onto purple vinyl.[35]

Loveless donated her vocal talent to the end credits song from the film, A Dog Named Gucci, in the song "One Voice", which also features the voices of Norah Jones, Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs, Neko Case, Brian May and Kathryn Calder. It was produced by Dean Falcone, who also wrote the film's score. "One Voice" was released on Record Store Day, April 16, 2016, with profits from the sale of the single going to benefit animal charities.[36]

In August 2016, Bloodshot Records released her third studio album, Real.[37][38] Her first ever music video, for the album's first single "Longer" received its world premiere through Rolling Stone in July 2016. The video was directed by filmmaker Gorman Bechard, who directed the documentary on Loveless.[39] On August 19, a second Bechard-directed music video was released this time for the song "Clumps".[40] The next morning Loveless and her band made their American TV network debut, performing three songs on CBS Saturday Morning.[41] A video for the song "European", also directed by Bechard, debuted in November 2016.[42]

The A.V. Club called Real "an adventurous, brutal honest sucker punch",[43] while The Boston Globe said, "Loveless continues to manifest a remarkable combination of bruised vulnerability and desperate longing, alongside a tough, self-deprecating resilience, but there's more of the former and less of the latter this time. She's still preoccupied with the downsides of love: longing for something you don’t (or can’t) have, the inevitable dissolution of whatever you manage to find (and the difficulty of finding it in the first place), and the emotional pitfalls of navigating it."[44] Rolling Stone liked the shift in genre towards a more pop sound.[45]

Loveless released her fourth studio album Daughter through her own label, Honey, You're Gonna Be Late Records on September 25, 2020.[46]


Loveless was the subject of a documentary called Who Is Lydia Loveless?,[47] in which filmmaker Gorman Bechard (Color Me Obsessed, Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart) documented the making of Loveless' album Real,[47] as well as following her on the road, and looking into what life is like for a band at her level in the music industry.[48] "I also wanted to look at stuff we normally don't see a lot of. What are the finances for a band like this? Where does the money go? Who gets the money? Is Spotify good? Is Spotify bad? How does piracy affect you? What about the fans? I really wanted to go into all of that for a band that can still sell out 200–250 seat venues and bars but is still all travelling in an old Ford van. A good night is when they have a couple of hotel rooms. No one is rolling in the dough so to speak. So what is it at that point when you have amazing critical success and acclaim but you’re not there yet?"[49] In October 2015, Bechard and his crew filmed a live Lydia Loveless concert at Skully's in her hometown of Columbus for the documentary.[50] The film had its world premiere on April 7, 2016 at the Columbus International Film & Video Festival.[51]


Loveless' lyrical bent includes feminist/strong-woman statements, therefore naturally includes a lot of drinking songs.[8] Loveless is an avowed fan of Kesha, and has played "Blind" in her live shows, as well as in a recording featured on her Boy Crazy and Singles(s) release.[52][53]


Hand-made wood coaster in shape of Lydia Loveless' heart tattoo – with an X through it. Made by Ben Lamb, her ex-husband.

Albums and EPs[edit]

Lydia Loveless albums and EPs
Year Title Label
2010 The Only Man Peloton
2011 Indestructible Machine Bloodshot
2013 Boy Crazy Bloodshot
2014 Somewhere Else Bloodshot
2016 Real Bloodshot
2017 Boy Crazy and Single(s) Bloodshot
2020 Daughter[46] Honey, You're Gonna Be Late


Lydia Loveless singles
Year Title Label
2011 "Bad Way to Go" / "Alison" Bloodshot
2014 "Mile High" / "Blind" Bloodshot
2015 "I Would Die 4 U" Bloodshot

Live performances[edit]

In addition to touring extensively Loveless has performed at many in-studio radio shows, including Daytrotter, KEXP-FM, and NPR.[54][55][56]

Year Title Label
2016 Lydia Loveless – and Audio Live session[57] Audiotree
2017 Lydia Loveless Folkadelphia Session April 11, 2017[58] Folkadelphia

Music videos[edit]

  • 2016: "Longer"
  • 2016: "Clumps"
  • 2016: "European"
  • 2017: "Same to You"

Personal life[edit]

Loveless was married to her bassist, Ben Lamb,[19] who is also a graphic artist.[59] They resided in Columbus, Ohio;[3][4] after the divorce, Loveless moved to Raleigh, North Carolina.[60]

Loveless' older sisters, Jessica Wabbit and Eleanor Sinacola, also have their own bands (The Girls! and Dead Girlfriend, respectively).[2] Loveless' younger brother, Nate, is the drummer of Shores of Elysium, a death metal/deathcore band from Columbus, Ohio.[61]


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  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Kot, Greg (November 22, 2011). "Lydia Loveless: Defiance on the farm". The Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ a b c d e Deming, Mark. "Lydia Loveless Overview". AllMusic.
  5. ^ Gibbs, Otis (March 12, 2013). "Lydia Loveless" (podcast). Episode 23: Lydia Loveless.
  6. ^ Olivia (February 1, 2013). "Lydia Loveless". Kids Interview Bands. Big Fun – Columbus, Ohio. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Koppelman, Brian (December 16, 2014). "The Moment – Lydia Loveless" (Audio interview). Grantland – Pop Culture. ESPN.
  8. ^ a b c Valish, Frank. "Lydia Loveless and The Machine". Interview Magazine.
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  13. ^ Davidson, Eric (February 13, 2014). "Q&A: Lydia Loveless". CMJ. CMJ Holdings Corp.
  14. ^ a b c Oliphint, Joel (February 2012). "Lydia Loveless: Her breakout year just behind her, the rocker with a punk country sound is still touring while planning her next recording". Columbus Monthly. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Danton, Eric. "Lydia Loveless Makes Men Cry, Professes Her Love for Britney and Booze".
  16. ^, Steve Wildsmith. "Sassy, saucy, fearless: Singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless is an 'Indestructible Machine'". The Daily Times. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  17. ^ Hogan, Marc (January 22, 2014). "Lydia Loveless Blazes Ahead on Real-Talk 'Really Wanna See You'". Spin magazine.
  18. ^ Stewart, Allison (June 28, 2011). "Singles file: Bjork, Premonition 13, Lydia Loveless". The Washington Post.
  19. ^ a b Joy, Kevin (September 29, 2011). "Profile of songstress rising outside Columbus". The Columbus Dispatch.
  20. ^ James, Matt (November 8, 2011). "Lydia Loveless: Indestructible Machine". PopMatters.
  21. ^ Book, Ryan (July 9, 2013). "Lydia Loveless Finds Her Country Music At The Hands of Nick Lowe and Richard Hell, Not Another Redheaded Alt-Country Chanteuse". Music Times.
  22. ^ "The Supersuckers + Lydia Loveless". Suoni Per Il Popolo. April 9, 2013.
  23. ^ Deming, Mark. "Boy Crazy EP". AllMusic.
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  27. ^ Martins, Chris (December 11, 2013). "Hear Lydia Loveless' Cowpunk Paean 'To Love Somebody'". Spin.
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  30. ^ Hyman, Dan (January 14, 2014). "Exclusive: Lydia Loveless Gets Raunchy on New Single "Head"". Elle.
  31. ^ "Somewhere Else – Lydia Loveless". Metacritic.
  32. ^ "Heatseekers Albums". Billboard's. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Peak position: 7; Last week's position: -; Weeks on chart: 1
  33. ^ "Lydia Loveless Gives Kesha's 'Blind' An Alt-Country Makeover". Spin. April 3, 2014.
  34. ^ Sacher, Andrew (May 14, 2014). "Lydia Loveless giving RSD single "Mile High" a wider release (stream it +++ updated tour dates)". Brooklyn Vegan.
  35. ^ Ganz, Jacob (March 11, 2015). "Hear Lydia Loveless Cover Prince's 'I Would Die 4 U'". All Songs Considered. NPR.
  36. ^ Tribbey, Ralph (March 19, 2016). "DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report: Filmmaker Gorman Bechard's A Dog Named Gucci To Make Its DVD Debut On Apr. 19". DVD & Blu-Ray Release Report.
  37. ^ "Lydia Loveless Needs a Little Bit 'Longer' (to Get Over You) on New Single". Spin. June 1, 2016.
  38. ^ Munro, Stuart (August 18, 2016). "Lydia Loveless takes a long, honest look at relationships on 'Real' – The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe.
  39. ^ "See Lydia Loveless' Day in Bed for New 'Longer' Video". Rolling Stone. July 6, 2016.
  40. ^ "Watch Lydia Loveless Pine for Romance In a Record Store with "Clumps"". Noisey.
  41. ^ "Saturday Sessions: Lydia Loveless performs "Same To You"". CBS News. August 20, 2016.
  42. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (November 15, 2016). "Inside Lydia Loveless' Genre-Bending Country Breakthrough". Rolling Stone.
  43. ^ "Lydia Loveless' Real is an adventurous, brutally honest sucker punch". August 19, 2016.
  44. ^ Munro, Stuart (August 18, 2016). "Lydia Loveless takes a long, honest look at relationships on 'Real'". The Boston Globe.
  45. ^ Hyman, Dan (August 18, 2016). "Lydia Loveless on Internet Stalkers, Badass Image and Raw New Album". Rolling Stone.
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  47. ^ a b Hudson, Scott (January 21, 2015). "Kickstarter launched for new Loveless documentary". Argus Leader.
  48. ^ from and interview on the Americana Music Show #299, published May 10, 2016
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  50. ^ "The ten best rock docs of all time: (in the humble opinion of a rock documentarian)". Columbus Alive.
  51. ^ "Staff Pick: The rest of the country prepared to find out just "Who Is Lydia Loveless"". Columbus Alive.
  52. ^ Mayer, Michael (March 30, 2012). "SXSW: More great bands you don't want to miss". San Jose Mercury News.
  53. ^ Danton, Eric R. (February 27, 2014). "The Hard-Living Kid of Alt-Country". Wall Street Journal.
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  55. ^ "Lydia Loveless" (In-studio performance). KEXP-FM. November 7, 2011.
  56. ^ "Lydia Loveless: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert". NPR Music. July 1, 2014.
  57. ^ "Lydia Loveless – Audiotree Live | Audiotree". Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  58. ^ "Lydia Loveless Folkadelphia Session 11/04/2017 | Folkadelphia". Retrieved April 4, 2020.
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  61. ^ Hermes, Will (February 9, 2014). "First Listen: Lydia Loveless, 'Somewhere Else'". NPR First Listen. NPR.

External links[edit]