We chat to Lindsay Lou

Hey Lindsay, first question… where are you right now?

In a rental 15 passenger van on our way to Short’s Brewing Company in Northern Michigan for their anniversary celebration. Currently 50 miles south of Ann Arbor. We were at Merlefest yesterday and were rear-ended on I-77N, hence the rental.

What have you been up to today?

I made myself a cup of tea with Englands #1 tea: PG Tips, updated some stage plots and riders, and am answering emails from the van on 23 North.

Tell us about yourself.

I am tired right now. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary if I was tired right up until showtime. Once the set starts my body forgets about being tired and shifts into a sort of meditative state. That’s what singing and performing does for my body, but I don’t think that’s unique to me.

If people could hear just one song from the album, what would you choose for them? And why?

'Go There Alone'. That’s just the first one that came to my mind just now.

I love the structure and sound of ‘Sugar’, how did you go about writing and arranging songs for the record?

I wrote the first verse and chorus of 'Sugar' in a solo writing exercise. I took that to the band and taught the chorus harmonies to Josh & PJ. I wrote more of the lyrics at a band arranged retreat, showed them what I had, and then wrote a third verse in response to their “strong suggestion” that it have one. Josh came up with the hook, PJ came up with the bass line, and Mark Lavengood came up with a beat for it. I had strong suggestions for the beat. We all work together to get to the bottom of what a song is asking for, but the exact process varies from song to song.

Do you write things down or use technology to record bits and pieces?

All of the above.

What is “a flatbelly”?

It is a young person. Quoted from a guy at a bluegrass festival who said “It’s nice to see you flatbellys out here pickin' with us greybeards.”

You’ve got so many good songs on Southland, like ‘The Voice’; what can you tell us about that track?

This was written during a particularly tumultuous time in my personal life. I co-wrote it with a friend in michigan, Max Lockwood. He’s a poet and a musician. I was on tour with The Sweet Water Warblers and needed a place to stay, so he offered me a room in his artist residency cabin near Mancelona, Michigan. We made a list of words to describe a vibe we were hunting for in the void. Also, he read the poem he had written the night before and I read my tea-bag-wisdom of the morning (aka the little saying on the tag of herbal teas), “There is beauty in the pathless woods.” I had been reading “The Prince” by Machiavelli, and that’s where “the prince” character came from. The character who was “singling wears from of sidewalk stand” came from my time wandering around NYC. We took around 12 hours to write the song. One break to hit up Short’s Brewery for dinner and a beer. Then back to it to finish the final lines (the dream lines.)

I love the harmonica on ‘The River That I Knew’, can you tell us what that song’s about?

The song was written by PJ’s childhood friend, Nick Woods. To me, it’s about responding to change.

When was the last time you were starstruck?

When I saw Sam Bush off stage at The Bluegrass Bender Jamboree in Las Vegas.

You’re touring at the moment, what’s your favourite thing about being on the road?

The life lessons.

And what do you hate about touring?

The life lessons.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

A lot of touring, festivals, etc. I’d like to start recording something again in the fall, even if it’s only demos. I have a lot of new material already for the next recording project.

If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?

The Carter Family, 'No Depression'.

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

What’s the new music I’m excited about right now?

New album just dropped by The California Honeydrops, and soon to drop by Lake Street Dive and The Milk Carton Kids.

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

With half and half if I drink it, but I don’t usually. I prefer tea.

To find out more about Lindsay and the band you can visit her website. You can also see what she's up to on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The record, Southland, is out now and available from any decent music stores, and streaming everywhere. You should buy it though.

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