Lindsay Ruth – Hot Summer [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Melancholic, introspective, dreamy.

Tell us a few things about your new song Hot Summer. What is the story behind it?

I wrote the song last summer when we were all in lockdown. The fires in California were rampant, the skies were hazy and red, and the sun looked like a harvest moon. I’d sit there trying to write, make use of all this free time I now had to “be productive”. No air conditioning, I’d have sweat dripping down my face, staring at a computer screen, and feel as though I was suffocating in more ways than one.

Which is kind of what it’s like to pursue a dream in Los Angeles. It’s like you’ve been dropped in this desert, and as the years go by you become more and more disillusioned and delusional in your chase. Smothered by the heat, the mirages start to look more realistic, more attainable. If you could just walk a little further, hold out a little longer, maybe you’d make it to water. It’s a never ending heat that wears you down into a grain of sand. One of millions, lost amongst the others who came before you, and walked over by those who will come after you.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

You know, it’s funny because I’ve always thought I had to like collaborating. And every time I did it felt as though I wasn’t being true to the song; creating some puff piece that I didn’t care about. It’s really hard for me to open up with someone I’ve just met. To be vulnerable and bold enough to speak my mind. Not to mention that I’m a control freak who likes things exactly one way, which is why I’ve taught myself how to produce and mix over the years. All that said, I should definitely get better at cowriting.

So in that sense, songwriting has never been lonely for me. I’ve never wanted someone else in that space with me. When I’m writing, I don’t feel alone. There’s something else there with you. I cherish those moments when I tap into that and it feels as though time is floating.

Favourite album of the past decade?

I have two. Madison Cunningham’s Who Are You Now and Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel… I don’t obsess over entire albums often. If I love an album, it’s because of the lyrics; I have to feel personally invested in them. The music draws me in initially, but what seals the deal is when lyrics articulate something so specific that I never even realized could be articulated. It’s like I’m enlightened to a new state of being when I hear it. And then when every song on the album does that for me? I’m hooked.

What do you love/hate about LA?

I want to write about LA all of the time because it’s such an elusive city. It gives so much, yet takes so much away. I love the energy. The creativity, the culture, the diversity; the fact that there’s always something going on no matter what day it is. I love being in it and amongst it; the struggle that is a vast community of artists collaborating, trying to make a living doing what they love.

What do I hate about LA? Parking, egos, and the west side are my top three. (Sorry Hollywood lovers).

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

I like to think my music is a mood setter, one that creates an introspective state of mind. Something you’d play on a late night drive when you’ve got a long road ahead of you. When there’s no one else around and there’s a clear view of the stars. And you feel at peace and connected with yourself or the world, but not without a twinge of sadness.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I was a goody two-shoes with a loud guilty conscience growing up. Which didn’t leave much room for getting into any interesting kind of trouble outside of being grounded for not cleaning out the cat litter. The trouble I end up getting myself into is much more subconscious. I never choose it.

Like the time I was in Rome on a college trip and got separated from my group wandering around a corner store. It was late, I had no idea how to get back to the hotel (nor did I even know the name of the hotel itself), and I spoke zero Italian. After asking various passersby, store owners, and some policeman, I got myself on a bus that I prayed was in the general direction of where I needed to go. Without knowing what my stop was, or what landmarks to look for, I serendipitously looked out the window and saw our hotel. Long story short, turns out the corner store I got lost in had a downstairs. Which is where everyone in my group had gone…

Thank you!

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