Lydia Loveless is set to release her 4th record, Real, next Friday, August 19th, through Bloodshot Records. After dipping her toe into pop music on 2014’s Somewhere Else, Loveless dives into it on Real. As the artist herself puts it, “Whereas our previous records could be described as blunt or raw, this one I wanted to be known as honest, as true, as real.”
Moving from a rawer sound to one that is more produced may seem misguided, but the counterintuitive move works thanks to Loveless’ openness. As its title suggests, Real deals with issues surrounding the idea of authenticity. In addressing the album’s background, Loveless poses a question, “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? Because 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…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.”
Real‘s songs all deal with these issues in one way or another, whether it is the confessional “More Than Ever” or the resigned “Heaven.” In sharing these songs and emotions unabashedly, Loveless finds the titular realness.