Lindsay Ell Says Co-Penning 11 Tracks on Her New Album Was About Being “Honest & Vulnerable”


Lindsay Ell Says Co-Penning 11 Tracks on Her New Album Was About Being “Honest & Vulnerable”

Lindsay Ell released her new concept album, heart theory, on Aug. 14.

Produced by Dann Huff, heart theory is comprised of 12 tracks that journey through each stage of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance. Lindsay co-penned 11 tracks on the new project with a host of top songwriters, including Brandy Clark, Laura Veltz, Jessie Jo Dillon, Nicole Gaylon and more.

As Lindsay told Kix Brooks of American Country Countdown, co-writing 11 tracks on the very personal album was about being “honest and vulnerable” as a songwriter.

“I truly feel like [songwriting] is a muscle that you need to work over and over and over and over again,” says Lindsay to Kix. “Practice makes perfect, even though you’ll never be perfect, but I feel like the gift of it is just that desire to keep doing it. And keep doing it to the point where you get to a place where you can be honest and vulnerable and so unique. I don’t really feel like there is a school of right and wrong things to do, but you learn how to be more yourself, and, at least in my personal experience, I’ve found that that’s where you get the furthest. That’s when you can sit in front of an audience and be like, ‘Okay, this is what I went through. And, this is a song about it,’ and then, they can listen to it and be like, ‘Oh my goodness—I know what that feels like.’”

The new album follows the release of Lindsay’s major-label debut album, The Project, in 2017. In 2018, Lindsay released The Continuum Project, a track-by-track cover of John Mayer’s Continuum.

In July, Lindsay revealed she is a survivor of sexual assault. With the release of the new album’s “make you,” Lindsay publicly addressed—for the first time—being a survivor of sexual violence. The deeply personal song explores her life after being raped as a 13-year-old. Penned by Lindsay and Brandy Clark, “make you” is the first song in the acceptance stage, a reflection of Lindsay’s determination to use her platform to help other sexual trauma survivors.

In conjunction with the release of “make you,” Lindsay launched the Make You Movement, a charitable fund that endeavors “to help organizations that support at-risk youth, domestic abuse and sexual assault survivors by providing funds on an as-needed basis.” Lindsay is donating proceeds from “make you” to the Make You Movement.

heart theory Track List & Songwriters
1. “Hits me” (Lindsay Ell, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder)
2. “how good” (Lindsay Ell, Brandy Clark)
3. “i don’t lovE you” (Adam Hambrick, Melissa Fuller, Neil Medley)
4. “wAnt me back” (Lindsay Ell, Kane Brown, Matt McGinn, Lindsay Rimes)
5. “get oveR you” (Lindsay Ell, Gordie Sampson, Kelly Archer)
6. “wrong girl” (Lindsay Ell, Steph Jones, Matt McGinn, Luke Niccoli)
7. “body language of a breakup” (Lindsay Ell, Laura Veltz, Sam Ellis)
8. “good on you” (Lindsay Ell, Sam Ellis, Micah Premnath)
9. “The oTHEr side” (Lindsay Ell, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt McGinn)
10. “gO to” (Lindsay Ell, Nicolle Gaylon, Jordan Reynolds)
11. “make you” (Lindsay Ell, Brandy Clark)
12. “ReadY to love” (Lindsay Ell, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt McGinn, Joey Hyde)

photo by Tammie Arroyo,

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