Lindsay Latimer Talks About "Teenage Lullaby" & Reaching Others With Her Music: "I Don’t Just Make Music for the Personal Satisfaction"
Nashville-based indie-pop artist Lindsay Latimer grew up immersed in art and music and it shows. The singer/songwriter cites her creative parents and the encouragement of her voice instructor for giving her the push to pursue music and now, she's giving that same positivity and hope back to her listeners in the form of her latest release, Teenage Lullaby. The EP, released last year, finds Latimer exploring both her teenage years and growing up in a way that finds her wearing her heart on her sleeve in hopes of connecting with her listeners.
Since the release of Teenage Lullaby, it comes as no surprise that Latimer has been busy writing and creating. Just last month, she released the Bodytalkr remix of her track, "I Blame You" alongside an accompanying music video, which can be seen below.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might not be familiar?
I’m an indie pop singer-songwriter from Nashville. I grew up in Cincinnati and for many years, ballet was my passion. I loved getting wrapped up in the music as the dancer, but soon realized I wanted to actually say things as well, not just dance. I started shifting my focus towards singing and private voice lessons and soon that became my thing. That led me studying voice performance in college…which took me to Nashville. I write on the things we have a hard time putting words to as humans: love and loss, nostalgia, not getting invited to the cool parties in high school…light topics like that.
Music and the arts have been something that you’ve been heavily involved in basically since you could walk and talk. When was it that you knew that it was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
Like teachers and mentors often have a way of doing, I was challenged with an important decision by my private voice instructor, Paul. I vividly remember the day the discussion began about what I might want to study in college and he stepped in with astonishment that I actually was considering not studying voice. He told me that I needed to study at the collegiate level. That I can’t stop now. For a girl who always loved music, but wasn’t necessarily feeling that was what I needed to study in college—it was a game changer for me. Sometimes I think we’re all just one affirmation away from doing what we really want to do underneath it all.
I think after watching My Fair Lady or The Sound of Music after the twentieth time as a six-year-old, it just seemed to be obvious that I wanted to do what Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews did—portray a story through singing.
How do you feel your creative upbringing has affected the music that you’re creating today?
I could write a book on this. Finding and creating beauty was of high importance in my house growing up. My mom’s a freelance oil painter and my dad still writes birthday poems on his cards to us. My older sister and I grew up outside running wild through our backyard pastures and trails. We explored and got dirty and had our senses open wide to what creation is. My sensitivity to art today was absorbed back then as a child. I was taught by example to create in the way that is unique to me and how that’s a good thing.
Last year, you released your second EP, Teenage Lullaby. Now that it has been out for a while, what are some of your favorite things about the release?
Creating music that feels very true to yourself is a satisfying feeling. No doubt. At the same time, I don’t just make music for the personal satisfaction, but in hopes of turning the light on for someone and spreading love and hope. Two songs off that EP really peeled off the mask and addressed insecurity and comparison and peer pressure for young girls. Since its release last fall, I’ve had girls reach out and message me about how “Prom Queens” or “Weekend Stories” spoke to them and made them feel noticed in their current pain and depression. I really love hearing that because that’s why I wrote them, to remind people that they’re never alone and to hopefully lead them to reach out to someone and open up with their struggles. Something I wish I did more of back in school.
Last week I ducked into a Starbucks where I live in Nashville and my song “Prom Queens” was playing in the store and I had this moment where I felt like my purpose in music was truly being fulfilled. My voice was being heard with a message that hopefully someone needed to hear that day. It was a cool thing.
What stories did you want to tell on Teenage Lullaby? What would you like listeners to take away from them?
The whole aesthetic reflects this tug-of-war between my years growing up and now, so there’s this obvious mashup of decades. Pool parties and balloons meet the other side: adulthood. Past struggles are often remedied by the present and that’s where the “lullaby” applies. I sat on my roof a lot at night growing up, thinking and dreaming. Strangely enough, that’s where my mind goes when I share these songs. On the roof in the dark, I could be honest. It felt mysterious, yet accessible—right outside my window. I wanted this EP to provide that for listeners, sparking moments of wonder and mystery, while infusing perseverance. I’d love for it to be a big blanket they can wrap themselves in.
How do you feel you’ve grown between Grow Wild and Teenage Lullaby?
I’ve gotten back to the roots of my songwriting—writing at the piano. It’s the medium I first wrote through as a kid, then took a sort of hiatus when I convinced myself playing acoustic guitar was essential in Nashville—and now we’re tight again. I’m glad I can use both instruments to communicate, but there’s a certain beauty that hammer and strings can only deliver. I’ve also gone from sweating over certain lyrical nuances to writing more uninhibited songs with less dawdling. It seems I over-think less, encourage myself more, and convey thoughts more sensibly overall.
You just recently released the music video for the Bodytalkr remix of your single, “I Blame You” as well! Can you tell us a little bit about this song? What inspired this one?
There’s a saying, “it wrote itself.” I whizzed through the original version in less than an hour. I wrote it soon after I got married and at the surface, it undoubtedly holds a confession-like posture. Yet, the sugary lyrics are embedded in thick dissonance and there’s something not quite settled. I love juxtaposing emotions because I think relationships are often like that—lots of co-existence of emotions. There’s sheer love in there but there’s also something a little mysterious tossed in. From there, I wanted to allow this song to develop as it may and I was lining up to do a remix. It was an obvious pick. My producer dipped the original version in just enough fuel to make it spark. It bumped it up a notch in a really fresh way that didn’t compromise the song’s origin.
With Teenage Lullaby out, what is the future looking like for you? Do you have any other big plans for 2018?
Creation station right now. I’m digging my heels in at home and pumping out the best I can. There might be some brand new project, might be a second remix to come…you’ll have to stay tuned! I’ve been taking big swan dives into deeper realms of songwriting and production. It’s been vitalizing and feels real.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you! I’ve enjoyed it.
Go give the music video a watch! I had a blast making it.