Prior to beginning work on Lindsay Ell’s critically acclaimed album, The Project, producer Kristian Bush (Sugarland) gave the rising star a homework assignment. Her mission? To single-handedly record a version of her all-time favorite album completely on her own, and to do it within two weeks.
The result is Ell’s “new” release, a version of John Mayer’s 2006 monster album, Continuum. It’s an album which showcases her strength and maturity as a consummate artist. Beautiful in both its vulnerability and symmetry in songs like “Waiting on The World To Change” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love,” Ell has achieved a new level with The Continuum Project. Her sensual vocals and eclectic guitar prowess not only does justice to Mayer’s classic, but it also serves notice that Ell cannot simply be defined by genre.
With her latest single, “Criminal,” already a Top 20 at U.S. Country radio hit, Ell is also gearing up to be a part of Sugarland’s Still The Same Summer Tour this summer.
AXS recently spoke with Lindsay Ell about The Continuum Project and more in this exclusive new interview.
AXS: What made you decide to do your own version of John Mayer’s album, Continuum?
Lindsay Ell: We were about ready to go into the studio to record my album, The Project, when my producer, Kristian Bush, asked me what my favorite record of all time was. I told him it was Continuum. It’s the record I listened to front and back more than anything else. That’s when he said, “Ok, perfect. Before we do anything else, I want you to go record the whole thing.” He then gave me three rules: I had to play all the instruments; record it by myself in the studio; and only had two weeks to do it. So, I spent the next two weeks working on it. It’s only twelve songs, but when you really start to pick apart the little intricacies of the album, it’s a whole other world.
AXS: What made that particular album so special to you?
LE: There is something about the vulnerability and songwriting that feels so real. John [Mayer] got to a place few artists get to. The writing really connected with me. Then there’s John’s guitar parts. He’s so good at blending the world of blues and contemporary pop. Just how he’s able to play melodic guitar parts with so much space and feel.
AXS How did you approach recording your version of Continuum?
LE: My thought process was to simply record each track, but to not give myself any rules. I just wanted to dig down and really learn what was going on. When I’d normally go into the studio, I’d always put down lots of guitars, organs, bass and drum parts. But what I realized with Continuum was that you don’t need a lot of instruments. There’s a simplicity and delicacy about having five instead of twenty. You can really hear the lyrics and how powerful the guitar parts are. I remember when I’d finished the album, Kristian said, “Ok, let’s mute the drums.” When he did, it suddenly went to a completely different place. The vulnerability in the lyrics and vocals really came out.
Read the rest of my
Interview with Lindsay Ell by Clicking Here.