“I didn’t want the record to sound stagnant. I wanted it to sound cohesive but I wanted different colors” We chat with Ingrid Michaelson

Photo of Ingrid Michaelson

Hey Ingrid, how the heck are you?

Tired! But good.

What have you been up to today, and where are you right now?

I’m in my house in Brooklyn, New York. The past two days I have been very busy with promo. I’m just taking some time to answer emails and do a little bit of work.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know.

There are lots of things you don’t know… I guess one thing you don’t know is that I’m newly obsessed with all of the Marvel movies. Obsessed. 

What can you tell us about your new album, Stranger Songs, in two sentences?

Stranger Songs is about wanting to go back in time and reliving your past but also it’s about the show. I want people to feel nostalgic when listening to it.

How much of a risk was it to make an album based around a TV show?

I don’t know if it’s a risk. Just a choice.

If people could only hear one song from the album, which are you proudest of?

That changes day to day. I think right now it’s a tie between ‘Christmas Lights’ and ‘Pretty’.

Sonically it’s quite different for you, what was the most difficult part to writing or recording the record?

To be honest it wasn’t difficult. I had so much material to work with and such great writers around me. I think the hardest part was throwing out some songs. Not letting some songs be on the record. I just had to have eleven songs on it and that was it.

You recorded across the US, which was your favourite city LA or Nashville? And what was it about that city that made it good?

Honestly, I can’t even choose. Writing in Nashville was really intricate and heavy. Writing in LA was super fun and pop-driven. I appreciated them both greatly.

You’ve worked with a number of writers and producers on Stranger Songs, how important a part of the process was it to mix that up?

I just wanted fresh sounds from lots of people. I didn’t want the record to sound stagnant. I wanted it to sound cohesive but I wanted different colors. So it was all important to me!

What’s the key to writing a damn good song?

Ha! I mean I don’t know! I think writing from the heart and finding a great melody or two are very important factors.

Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?

I’ve always just laughed it off but I’m realizing I don’t have to laugh it off anymore. I can call it out for what it is, which is a really great place to be in.

You’re playing Union Chapel in London in November, how cool is that?

Very cool. It’s one of my favorite venues in the world.

Who inspires you?

Other music. Art. TV shows. Life.

What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Billie Eilish. Me and everyone else in the world. I just love her voice and I love her lyrics so much.

If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?

My bandmate Allie Moss. Such beautiful delicate but powerful songs.

What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?

I think you did a good job!

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

I actually hate coffee. I drink tea. With lots of soy milk. And maybe a little bit of sugar. OK, maybe a lot of sugar.

Max Mazonowicz

Updated: Jul 19, 2019


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“I didn’t want the record to sound stagnant. I wanted it to sound cohesive but I wanted different colors” We chat with Ingrid Michaelson | The Digital Fix