Singer/songwriter Jordan Lindley revealed his debut single “To You, For Her” on August 30th.
Written by Lindley and produced by Collin Pastore and Jake Finch, “To You, For Her” was written in one of those in-between-phases where you’re not so sure about a new relationship because you’re still caught up in the last one.
“It’s really just me calling myself out and asking, “if I run from this person when the going’s good, what makes me so different than the one I’m trying to get over - a person that let doubt lead their life?” I’ve always struggled with letting things happen, and putting down on paper why that is was really cathartic,” says Lindley.
After playing in bands, the Oklahoma-native moved to Nashville to study songwriting at Belmont University in Nashville. Now releasing his debut single “To You For Her”, Lindley introduces himself as a gifted songwriter and vocalist.
With the help of Nashville-based producers Collin Pastore and Jake Finch, Jordan Lindley will be releasing his debut EP this Fall.
“To You, For Her” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
Hi! My name is Jordan Lindley, and I’m originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
What's your story?
I grew up playing and writing music from the time that I was in elementary school. Everything from punk rock to hip-hop to folk, I was obsessed with listening to. After playing in bands throughout high school, I made the move to Nashville to pursue songwriting at Belmont. Being 1 of the 30,000 people that move to Nashville each year, I figured there was definitely a shot at succeeding… I spend my time writing with other artists/co-writers around the city, coordinating at Nashville’s Interscope Records Office, and of course playing/releasing my own music. I’ve been here about 5 years, and I still love it.
Could you tell us about your childhood a little bit?
I grew up in a family of medical practitioners, but music was always around in some way or another. My mom sang around the house constantly, my dad routinely kept 90s rock compilations in his car, and playing in a punk band was all I ever thought about. At 8 years old, I got a guitar. And after a good amount of half-assing and practically being forced to practice by my stepmom, I realized that I didn’t care to be a “shredder.” However, I learned just enough to use the guitar as a foundation for writing. I turned to songwriting almost immediately. Even before I could play an instrument, I would write everything down. I think it was a coping mechanism early on. I went through a lot of weird family stuff, and had a bit of trouble when it came to communicating with those that were close to me, but music — songwriting in particular — was always a constant. It carried no darkness or judgement. It just felt safe. I wrote fervently all through school and started a band that did pretty well in Oklahoma. That really sparked something inside of me and eventually led to my move to Nashville.
How would you describe yourself today?
Eager - Excited - Clueless - Passionate.
When did you start writing songs? What made you want to write songs in the first place?
I wrote my first full song when I was 9 - “Almond Joy.” It was a love song to my crush at the time (who, fortunately for me, had the last name ‘Almon’). I think what made me start writing in the first place was a mixture of: not knowing how to speak my mind, wishing I had more control than I did, and Green Day’s American Idiot. Writing was an outlet, and that’s how I told people what I was feeling. It was therapy before I even fully realized what that was.
Could you tell us about your first experience in the music industry? What lessons did you learn since then?
My first experiences came through a band I was in from the ages of 10 to 18. After releasing our first album, we were asked to hop on a tour with the band Forever the Sickest Kids. They were a huge influence on me, and I was just 15, so it was super exciting. Through experiences like that, I felt what bigger crowds and true connection with the audience was really like. It’s a feeling I still chase, funnily enough. Along with showing me how powerful music could be, it made me realize that doing it for a living was possible. Since then, I’ve learned about how hard you have to work, even after you’ve accomplished things.
"To You, For Her" is your debut single. What's the story behind this song?
“To You, For Her” was the last song that I wrote for my upcoming EP. It was written in one of those in-between-phases where you’re not so sure about a new relationship because you’re still caught up in the last one. It’s really just me calling myself out and asking, “if I run from this person when the going’s good, what makes me so different than the one I’m trying to get over - a person that let doubt lead their life?” I’ve always struggled with letting things happen, and putting down on paper why that is was really cathartic.
Who helped you create this particular song? Could you describe to us the songwriting/production process?
I wrote the song by myself over the course of about a week. The verses and bridge came to me in about 15 minutes, but I had to sit with the chorus for a little while. I sent a voice memo of the unfinished song to Collin Pastore and Jake Finch, who produced the EP, and they loved it. When Jake and Collin love something, their excitement is super contagious. They brought the song to life in such a cool way. I do the thing where I say stuff like “make it feel happy and hopeful with a tinge of worry at the end,” and they damn well do it. Along with me on guitar/vocals, the track consisted of Jake on drums/guitar, Collin on pedal steel/guitar, Andrew Brown on bass, and additional vocals from my friends Wyatt Peake, Kyle Grandillo, and Hadley Kennary. We tracked most of it at Trace Horse Studio. It was a lot of fun to record.
What did you feel when writing this song?
Honestly, I went back and forth with being confused and relieved when I wrote this song. There was a lot of built up emotion around the subject that I don’t think I was really aware of until I sat down with it.
What made you want to release "To You, For Her" as your debut single?
“To You, For Her” was always the track on the EP that got stuck in people’s heads and put a smile on their faces by the end of it. I wanted to showcase that sense of hope in uncertainty right off the bat. Plus, it felt like a good end-of-summer-song for people to carry into the coming months.
What can you tell us about the artwork?
I had just gotten the final master back from Adam Grover at Sterling Sound, and I played it for my girlfriend the next morning. She was dancing around the living room to it, and I knew that the feeling I got from the sight of that was what I wanted other people to feel. I grabbed a disposal camera — because I’m that asshole that buys disposal cameras — and took a bunch of pictures. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
What is your goal for this single?
My goal for this single is to introduce people to who I am as a writer. This song helped me work through a lot of emotions, and I hope it does the same for others. How we feel isn’t always so cut-and-dry. In fact, it’s usually way more complicated and awkward. I try to be as bare-bones in this as I can be — admitting to doubts, hang-ups, and everything in between.
What appeals you the most about songwriting?
I think the coolest thing about songwriting is the ability to take the feelings we all feel, and figure out how to say them in a way that no one has before. And going further than that, saying them in the simplest way possible. A lot of the time it’s hard for me to comprehend and really feel things when I’m in the middle of them, let alone express them. And really, that’s kind of fucked up, but songwriting gives me that opportunity to reflect.
Any favorite songwriter(s)?
Off the top of my head: Andy Hull, Jason Isbell, Ruston Kelly, Drake, Parker Cannon, Phoebe Bridgers, Dave Grohl, Joni Mitchell.
How would you define your music?
This is the question that kept me in front of my distribution submission for hours. At its core, I think I would describe my music as storytelling. I tend to blur the whole “genre” thing unintentionally. But as I mentioned before, the musical aspect of songwriting is much more a foundation for me than anything. It can go any direction based on the main idea of the song, which I kind of like. It always comes down to creating a scene that’s both visually stimulating, and that is articulated in a way that’s palatable for the listener. It’s always a plus when people find it catchy too.
In your opinion, what makes a "good" song?
A good song is something that moves you in some way or another. It can be production, lyrics, melody, anything. But no matter what it is, it leaves you with the feeling of wanting to hear it again.
As an artist, what do you want to accomplish?
As cliché as it may sound, I want to be a voice for people that don’t always know what or why they are feeling something. I want to take subjects that we’re sometimes nervous or afraid to talk about and discuss it, and I want people to know that what they’re feeling is okay. It’s so easy nowadays to get caught up in perfection and what it’s supposed to look like; but we all think shitty thoughts sometimes, and none of us really know the “right” answers. I want people to realize that they can express and acknowledge their feelings, not hide them, when they hear my songs.
What are your thoughts on today's social media?
As much as I talk down on how consuming and aggravating it can be, I think it’s more good than bad. Social media, at its core, is just connecting with people. So, it is what you make it. I think the possibilities that social media brings are invaluable. And for artists, there has never been a better way to share with friends, family, and fans.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Honesty — with others and with ourselves
What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?
The biggest life lesson I’ve learned so far is that no one is going to do it for you. It’s so important to surround yourself with love and creativity and positivity; but at the end of the day, you have to want it for yourself more than anyone else. That stands not only for music, but with any career, challenge, or life task at hand.
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