Director: Gorman Bechard
Cast: Lydia Loveless, Todd May, Benjamin, Jay Gasper, George Hondroulis, Joe Viers, Steve McGann
Rating: 4/5 stars
Lydia Loveless is an American alternative country singer and song writer and has been a fan of music all her life. She has been active on the music scene since 2008 and was officially signed to a label in 2011. Her sound is, at times, hard to clarify in terms of genre, she’s influenced by pop, rock, country, punk rock, honky tonk, and alternative music. Her versatility adds to her appeal as an artist and creates layers to the mystery of exactly what kind of artists she is. How should she be labelled? What does the future of her career look like? These are all questions that have been raised about Lydia and Who is Lydia Loveless?, screened at the 2016 Reel Indie Film Festival, seeks to answer them.
The documentary takes us inside Lydia’s creative processes as she makes her latest album, “Real”, with Bloodshot Records. The documentary shows what life on the road is like for a band and the intricacies of the behind the scenes work in music, such as the financial, marketing, and promotional aspect. The relationship between Lydia and her fans is also explored. She has a huge female following and is viewed as a feminist by many, with the themes in her work ranging from heart break to politics. In a clip in the documentary, Lydia is described as “your biggest fantasy and your worst nightmare at the same time. She is enigmatic, complicated, and intriguing and that adds to why she is admired by fans”.
We get a glimpse into Lydia’s childhood and her band’s views of her and the music they make. At times, the film touches on heavy subjects such as sexism in music, the criticism they face at times, and the financial insecurity that is the reality of being a musician. Lydia is blunt and honest in her responses to questions and holds nothing back. The documentary is refreshing and interesting. Lydia and her band are a breath of fresh air in their candidness and this adds to the appeal of the film.
If you love rock, pop, indie, country, and alternative music or are just a fan of great music, you should see the film.