Songwriter Lindsay White – ‘Lights Out’ is at iTunes.
As I continue on my musical journey, I could write a list of 100s of artists, genres, and albums that influence me. But in terms of the initial inspiration that led me to choose a life of songwriting, here are some of my earliest selections. I try to be as meticulous and as vulnerable as possible with my lyrics, and I have these artists to thank for giving me incredible lessons.
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
I love many Dylan records, but this one speaks to me time after time. I’m in love with the storytelling, the cohesive sound, and those smooth bass lines. Every song stands alone as a lovely piece of art, but woven together, they create this gorgeous tapestry of human emotion. There is an ease, a sadness, and an intensity that somehow all work together in a magical way.
Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
I got my first taste of modern-day female songwriting with Jewel’s Pieces of You, but Jagged Little Pill was a bit grittier and showed me that there were no limits when it came to shedding a light on even the most painful experiences. I don’t think I listened to anything else for a whole year.
Fiona Apple – Tidal
I didn’t start listening to this album until a few years after it was out. Her writing makes me want to quit music because I just don’t think I can ever live up to it, and the song I Know slays me every single time I hear it. And what’s even more astounding – she’s only gotten better as the years go on.
Ani Difranco – Little Plastic Castle
This was the first of her records I listened to over and over again. Her music was so powerful, and the lyrics were so vivid; it was like you could hear the songs and see them. This was yet another female songwriter showing me it was okay to be a fearless writer.
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
When this came out, everyone was obsessed with “Rehab,” and I was like, “you guys realize that song is not even close to the best song on this record, right?” This album is one of those rare moments where writing and production and performances complement each other perfectly throughout. Wake Up Alone might be one of my favorite songs ever. Amy’s fate was tragic to be sure, but I respected her ability to acknowledge her flaws without apologizing for them.
Article cover photo credit – Darci Fontenot
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