Song as the vehicle for musicians to make sense of the world is a tale as old as the trope itself.
But, like many adages, it’s just simply and universally true.
Certainly, for many songwriters, difficult times beget periods of prolific writing. Occupying that emotional space while recording can be difficult. The touring behind the resulting album, though? That can be damn near impossible.
For San Diego folk singer Lindsay White, her solo sophomore EP Lights Out saw her delve into a period of trauma and rebirth. In it, she explores the loss of her mother and grandfather, as well as her divorce, coupled with coming out as gay, falling in love and remarrying, all while navigating “the religious dismay of loved ones.”
To say there was a lot for White to unpack emotionally simply does not suffice.
Though there was great beauty in the exploration of grief and love that she uncovered, the songs themselves are raw and the performance of them “emotionally vulnerable.”
“Deep Dark Down” exemplifies the conundrum of writing from a place of turmoil and finding the strength to perform from that place. White reflects, “it is about trying (and somewhat failing) to mend fences with my estranged mother as she was dying of brain cancer. It’s a significant part of my record and a monumental part of my life, but I have a really hard time playing it live.”
Still, White realizes, the song itself remains important to share. “Recording the track at The Rye Room gave me the empty room I needed to perform the song, but a larger audience to hear it, and ultimately, a hope that listeners facing similar experiences might feel less alone... On a broader level, “Deep Dark Down” is about a relationship ending with no closure, and I know a lot of people can relate to that.”
Certainly, the writing of “Deep Dark Down” and the EP it is a part of was an important part of White’s journey as an individual. “My lyrics move with me through the world,” White remarks. “We’re growing older and wiser together.”
She goes on to add, “I do think my relationship to time itself has changed, and that is reflected in my music. With Tracks [her first EP], time was a bully, taunting and daring me to be a more authentic version of myself. With Lights Out, time was a thief, taking away the people I loved with reckless abandon. Lately, I’ve looked to time more as a mentor or friend. It’s given me a lot of perspective and healed a lot of wounds, so I find myself holding it in higher regard in my music.”
Garnering recognition across the country for her work, including a recent feature as one of the “15 Lesbian/Bi/Queer Musical Artists You Need to Know” by AfterEllen, Lindsay White is one who we’ll always hold in high regard.