A major health scare and opening up about sexual assault as a teenager makes for a moving album for singer-songwriter and guitar shredder Lindsay Ell.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more personal, heart-wrenching, and inspiring album than Heart Theory, released today, August 14.
Working through the seven stages of grief, this is a concept album best consumed from start to finish, rather than in bites.
“I was about halfway through writing this record when I realised I was writing these songs in the order of how I was feeling them,” Lindsay said.
“As human beings on the planet we go through transformation in our lives and I thought how cool would it be to write a record in order of the seven stages of grief.”
The singer-songwriter who knows how to shred a guitar with the best of them, works through grief from shock to denial and all the way down to acceptance, and opens up to her listeners as they travel the journey with her.
“I want to inspire them to go through this with me because I feel like the past three years, and particularly the last year, has been transformative for me,” Lindsay said.
“I had a massive health scare and finally wanting to talk about my story as a little girl, I’ve gotten to know myself – we always think we do, but we get to know ourselves deeper and deeper as we get older and there is such a beautiful quality in that.”
The Canadian artist, who now calls Nashville home, opened up about her rape at 13 years old, while visiting Youth For Tomorrow to launch their music program.
“I sat down with 12 other little girls and I told them my story and I heard them tell their stories,” she said.
“These are stories that are so horrific. This happens far more in our society than we want to realise and by not talking about it, we are allowing that shame and guilt to continue, but we can help each other heal and become strong through talking about it.”
Lindsay’s revelations about her rape at 13 and again at 21, while at Youth for Tomorrow were unexpected, even to herself, and she said she had tried to write her story many times.
“It always ended up so dark, so I called up up Brandy Clark who is so gifted and told her that I really would like to write a song about my story, and asked whether she would want to write with me,” she said.
“She was so fearlessly interested and gave me the courage, wanting to and ability to write it, so make you really ended up being written in a matter for a few hours.”
make you, while dealing with tragic and painful events, is an inspiring song of strength and healing and becoming the person you are today because of life experiences.
The country artist said thousands of fans had reached out to her since the release of make you, with some telling her they were unable to open up to anyone else until they’d heard the song.
“If I can be a tiny step in their process, then I’m so grateful that they’re able to open up to me,” she said.
Heart Theory is a whole album of healing and is best listened to from track one to twelve.
“I would definitely recommend, if fans want to listen in order, it’s the full experience because you can hear the dialogue and change in me, although each song is its own special moment,” she said.
“I just want this music to be able to help a lot of people and I want it to inspire people to claim back that inner self power and self-love. We are all those beautiful puzzle pieces because of what’s happened to us and we need to be grateful and appreciative of what’s happened in our lives and we can claim our lives and take control of our future.”
Her talents have been recognised and the multi-faceted artist is in the running for New Female Artist of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year at the ACMs this year.
“It’s always such a pleasure to be nominated and I remember watching these award shows when I was a little girl, so now being a part of them is so special to me and I’m so excited about the ACMs,” she said.
“It’s going to be a really fun night.”
The ACMs have been postponed until September 17.
Not being able to tour hasn’t stopped Lindsay from having a hectic promo schedule in the lead-up to today’s album release. She said she also couldn’t wait to return to Australia.
“I cannot wait to get back on the road, I am counting down the seconds,” she said.
“When they tell us we can travel overseas again, Australia – I am coming to do some more shows. “I will book my ticket in a matter of minutes, but for now I am encouraging fans to stay home so nobody gets hurt.”
Heart Theory is out today.