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The Project’s first single, Waiting on You, is the perfect combination of those traits, basking in slippery guitar grooves and real-life romantic optimism.Longtime fan favorite Criminal follows suit, swaying under the invincible armor of fresh love, while the wounded Worth the Wait holds out hope that some things really are meant to be.“With Worth the Wait I had something to say, writing real songs with real lyrics. I still have really important lyrics, but The Project has groove and lots of guitar solos – I let my musical brain free.” Crediting Bush with making her ask what kind of artist she really wanted to be, Ell says “You can tell when it clicks into gear.” Bush gave her a deceptively simple task before getting to work on The Project – recording her own version of her all-time favorite record, note for note and completely alone.For Ell, that record is John Mayer’s Continuum, and after locking herself in a studio for two weeks straight, she had a musical epiphany.For the first time, Ell’s music feels 100 percent “Lindsay,” and part of the reason for that is the growing up she’s done over the past few years.The young star has traveled the world with The Band Perry and Luke Bryan, showcased her multi-instrumental dexterity as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country, and is currently trading guitar solos with Brad Paisley on his 2017 Weekend Warrior World Tour.
She embraces the anything-goes fun of country’s future but also holds fast to its traditions, focusing on real instruments and co-writing nine of The Project’s songs to create something both unique and self-assured.“I really believe everybody has their own story and their own path of brilliance ahead of them,” Ell explains, hinting at the her own winding journey.“It’s a song of not settling for things, careers, or even emotions that you’re having, just because they happen to you all the time.It’s about knowing you’re meant for something more special than that.” With her long-awaited album debut, Lindsay Ell has discovered what she was meant for, and who she really is.
Her next “project” will be to pass that message on.
“Mint” features a refreshing, carefree beat, and the sugary pop of “Good” reveals Ell’s cautious joy as her dreams come true.