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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.

Lindsey Lomis on Joni Mitchell

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Nashville-based singer-songwriter Lindsey Lomis is 17 years old, but her career doesn’t show it. She’s signed to Warner Records, collaborating with JoJo, and preparing the release of her second EP, produced by Ryan Daly (Fitz and The Tantrums, Cheat Codes, Adam Lambert). In other words: “so much potential she could burst,” as Tmrw magazine put it. As an artist, then, Lindsey presents a layered image. On the one hand, she’s fully Gen Z, raised on Adele and Twenty One Pilots, exploring themes of teenage life with a down-to-earth relatability. At the same time, her rich voice—and career thus far—betray an undeniable star power. 

Lindsey’s latest single, “Slow Motion,” arrived last week. Featuring JoJo, the soulful track lingers on the idea of relaxing into the present (“Watching the clock Is a waste of time / you got all that you need If you’re living right … Count up all your problems then just make ‘em wait”). “Keeping up with JoJo vocally isn’t for the faint of heart, but the Nashville newcomer makes it look effortless,” wrote Idolator of the track. 

Born and raised in Nashville, Lindsey has been singing “since she could speak.” One of the songs on In the Madness, her forthcoming EP, was written when she was just eleven. It’s compelling context for an EP: one song written at age eleven, another song with JoJo. That duality — youthful earnestness combined with jaw-dropping ambition — seems characteristic of Lindsey. “If you told me a year ago I’d be singing with JoJo I would’ve laughed in disbelief,” Lindsey wrote on Instagram.

For her Algorhythm, Lindsey discusses her collaboration with the late writer and producer Busbee (Shakira, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum), and how he led her to Joni Mitchell.

“Sitting in the living room of a small East Nashville house, I looked across the coffee table at the legendary writer/producer Busbee. I had been invited to come meet him and play for him in his home. I was ecstatic. We formed an instant bond, and he went on to become a pivotal mentor to me. A few days after that meeting a book arrived on my doorstep. It was Joni Mitchell: The Complete Poems and Lyrics with a note that read “We wanted you to have this book… Joni is one of the greatest of all time. Speak soon!” I felt honored that Buz thought of me and went out of his way to send this book. I dove into the lyrics and made a point to read at least one poem a night. 
This was a real turning point for my songwriting. Before then I really only thought of myself as a vocalist who wrote on the side. Now I think of myself as a true songwriter. Joni’s lyrics uniquely express stories that people can relate to; a shared human experience, both good and bad. She has made a lasting impact on music through her own art as well as inspiring others. I learned that I can use my voice not only to sing, but for social activism and to connect with people across the globe. Although Busbee is no longer with us, I cherish the book as a symbol of what he envisioned for me and I will forever be grateful for that.”

Lindsey’s forthcoming EP, In the Madness, comes out tomorrow. Pre-save it here, and check out our full Algorhythms playlist here

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