Lindsay Ell Discovers Extended Reality and Extends Her Musical Reality Via ‘Heart Theory’

"Music powerfully brings us together and allows us to present our most honest selves," says the Calgary native

Upon reflecting on her poignant, revelatory, and year-old breakout album Heart Theory, Calgary native and emerging Nashville artist Lindsay Ell offers a note about what she’s discovered about the power of music as an art form in the past 12 months:

“Putting emotions into songs by capturing how they feel is already difficult, but, [in making Heart Theory], I learned that music powerfully brings us together and allows us to present our best, most honest selves.”

Songs like “Want Me Back” feature Kane Brown as a co-writer and achieved Canadian country chart number-one status and top-40 Billboard Hot Country success. The album also features Brandy Clark, Laura Veltz, and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard as writing room collaborators. It’s an all-star affair. However, its roots are profound and heart-achingly emotional.

The album comes from a dark place that becomes light and effusively positive via working its way through the seven stages of grief. Whilst in the midst of emerging from a traumatic breakup, other emotions were triggered within Ell, specifically dealing with a major health scare, turning 30, and being the survivor of sexual assault at both the ages of 13 and 21. Thus, the project serves as what a press release notes is “a roadmap of comfort and reassurance to believe in yourself.” One year later, the album has been reimagined as a series of extended-reality videos paralleling how she survived multiple stages of grief.

In this conversation, Ell discusses how a mix of everything, including therapeutic self-study of works by the acclaimed clinical social worker and author Brené Brown, leaning on the skills of songwriters Brandy Clark to access her truth, plus learning how to navigate the thin musical line between radio success, pop accessibility and raw honesty has evolved her musicianship.

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