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This piece is part of the Algorhythms project: artists telling stories about music they discovered from humans. Because where we discover music is an important part of its impact, and not all music is discovered through an algorithm.

FIELDED on Joni Mitchell, En Vogue, and Erykah Badu

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Lindsay Powell is no stranger to the music industry. In her late teens, she cut her teeth as a vocalist and keyboardist for the Chicago-based prog group Ga’an. When the band split after not getting signed, she started FIELDED, an electropop solo vocal project and Lindsay's first foray into music production. She released her freshman album under the moniker in 2012 and three years later launched the hybrid record/fashion label Universally Handsome, motivated to support other femme, genre-bending artists. 

“I wanted to do something that empowered women, and I wanted to be in control of my own music, because it had been controlled by men since I was like 17,” Lindsay told i-D in 2018. “I started Universally Handsome with the intention of working with artists who are overlooked, too poppy for the weirdos and too weird for the pops.”

On her forthcoming album (out tomorrow), Lindsay takes a backseat on production, focusing instead on her song-writing faculties. Created in the midst of a turbulent romance, Demisexual Lovelace offers autobiographical commentary on love, sex, and shame, functioning as a “brutally honest love letter to the person that my time in New York City has made me so far,” Lindsey explains.

For her Algorhythm, Lindsay thinks back to the artists who left a lasting impression on her younger self.

One of my earliest memories of being introduced to music that changed me was riding in the car with my mom while she listened to Joni Mitchell’s The Hissing of Summer Lawns. I remember being so drawn to the track “The Jungle Line” with its field recording of drums and that groovy Moog bass line. I didn’t understand Mitchell’s lyrics on her later albums when I was a kid, I much preferred her early work as it was adolescent in metaphor and imagery. What I love about Joni Mitchell is that her albums have aged with me; the older I get, the more I understand the poetry of her later albums, both lyrically and instrumentally. Another memory is my sister playing me En Vogue’s Funky Divas. That album absolutely blew my mind. I was so young and before that moment hadn’t really been sonically intimate with any female artists with such powerful voices. I soaked up every song and learned every word. Their harmonies have generally had a huge influence on me. One of my fondest memories of being introduced to music was a boy in my class who had a crush on me giving me Erykah Badu’s Live album randomly as a gift in third grade (Thank you, CJ, wherever you are). That album also blew my mind! It still does. I could really feel every word, note and even the energy between Badu and her audience. To me, Badu had just become the coolest person alive. She gave me stars for eyes. Listening to that album definitely made me want to be a solo vocalist and performer.

Demisexual Lovelace will be available tomorrow via Backwoodz Studioz. Check it out and listen to the full Algorhythms playlist here.

Looking for an album to blow your mind? Grey Matter is the music community where artists and listeners discover one another. Learn more and join the community here.