Lydia’s Love Life

Photo by Blackletter / Patrick Crawford

If I wrote a book about a dark and moody country-rock musician, I might name the main character Lydia Loveless. The real Loveless assures me it’s her real name while calling from her tour bus somewhere in the Midwest.

Loveless’ 2014 release Somewhere Else (out now on Bloodshot Records) is full of dark and moody country-rock, positioning the young songwriter as alt-country’s next big thing — the heir-apparent to Lucinda Williams, a young and feisty Steve Earle with a broken heart or Tammy Wynette fronting The Replacements.

“I’ll always have a country attitude,” Loveless says, explaining these days she thinks less about genre than she once did. “It tends to give me writers’ block,” she continues. “The lyrical content [of country] will always inspire me,” she adds, but when describing her own sound she says, “I would call it rural rock ‘n’ roll.”

Loveless’ confessional lyrics are like a diner waitress passing the time while gossiping to a stranger. The singer admits her work is “a little dear diary-ish,” but adds, “I get inspired by books and other people’s lives.”

For example: Album track “Head” might be the best rock song ever written about oral sex. Elsewhere, on “Really Wanna See You,” Loveless laments, “Well, I was just thinking about you and how you got married last June,” adding, “I wonder how that worked out for you.” And in “Hurts So Bad,” she sings, “I get an ache in the pit of my stomach; it must be something that you said to me.”

But despite all the heartbreak, on stage Loveless is pure rock ‘n’ roll. “This is gonna be a really good one,” Loveless says of her upcoming Eugene show. “I think it’ll be more intense, a little more raucous.”

Lydia Loveless plays with the gritty-pretty James Apollo 9 pm Thursday, April 3, at Sam Bond’s; $5.