Local music: Lydia Loveless

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

Success is a strange sensation for Lydia Loveless, though not a surprising one.

"I guess I have been planning on things being this way," said Loveless, the 21-year-old country-rock spitfire whose second album, "Indestructible Machine," is earning rave reviews from the likes of Spin, Paste and the Chicago Tribune.

Loveless has been spouting plans for rock stardom since long before a deal with respected roots rock label Bloodshot Records was on the radar. Now that she's teamed up with the company that shined a spotlight on Ryan Adams, Old 97's and Justin Townes Earle, those plans seem to be coming true.

She's certainly on the road more now, playing gigs with country rock royalty like Roger Clyne, Centro-matic and Those Darlins. But don't expect her to completely disappear from Columbus haunts like Bernie's, which she slyly shouts out by its address on "Do Right," or Betty's, where she sipped from a PBR tallboy last Tuesday and spoke about her newfound success.

"A lot of the bands on Bloodshot are like, 'We tour 300 days a year,'" Loveless said. "I definitely like being at home. … It's hard as a female to think straight when you're surrounded by a bunch of dudes."

For the moment, she's caught in a current of busyness that happens to wind back through town Friday for an album release show at Rumba Cafe. And indeed, "Indestructible Machine" is a work worth celebrating.

Musically, Loveless branched out with astounding results. She applies her sweet siren and biting wordplay to a wide range of styles, from the rough-and-tumble rocker "Can't Change Me" to the country crooner "How Many Women" to the folksy ballad "Crazy."

She still sometimes trades in rip-roaring four-chord bangers, but they're imbued with color and life by her accomplished band - Columbus twang mainstay Todd May on guitar, Loveless' dad Parker Chandler on drums and her new husband Benjamin Lamb on bass.

Lyrically, Loveless is even sharper. She's blunt about her problems, and funny too, eluding to a music scene stalker in "Steve Earle" and recounting the horrors of life in Weinland Park on "Learn to Say No."

"I know there's one part where I say 's---ting myself every time I go outside,' which is sort of a reference to Weinland Park because there was this one woman - she was homeless but she lived in Weinland Park - actually crapped on the sidewalk in front of Ben," Loveless said. "It was obviously a metaphor for being scared or whatever."

On "Indestructible Machine," refusing to leave the house comes up nearly as often as getting smashed. On "More Like Them," the themes combine: "Cause I'd rather stay home and drink gallons of wine/ That must be why nobody stops by." Listeners could be forgiven for worrying about Loveless' liver.

"I try not to come across as like, a crazy partier," she said. "I just try to be brutally honest."

Fortunately for Loveless, these days she can drink not to cope but to celebrate.

Photo by Jodi Miller

Rumba Cafe

9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30

2507 Summit St., Campus