A psychedelic journey processing pain and loss meets an enlightened redefining of the idea of feminity on the new Lindsay Lou album, Queen of Time. Out on September 29th via Kill Rock Stars, her first album in five years features guest appearances from Billy Strings and Jerry Douglas.
“I saw a literal manifestation of the sacred feminine, and had this profound sense that I was meant to embody it,” Lou recalled of the hallucinogenic ritual that served as an impetus for Queen of Time. With her newfound outlook, she withstood tests of character and mental stability including the loss of her grandmother, the end of her marriage, and the mental anguish of the COVID pandemic.
Lou’s late grandmother plays a pivotal role throughout Queen of Time, both thematically and literally. Prior to her death, Lou recorded over 27 hours of conversation with the matriarch, heard throughout the album interspersed into songs. Spiritually, the woman who went from a teacher to a Rainbow Gathering healer and raised a dozen children in the process is at the heart of Lou’s redefined idea of femininity.
“It started with my grandma. She was the unattainable woman in a way,” Lou explained. “She had 12 kids and ran homeless shelters and was always taking people in. She felt that her calling was to be a mother to everyone—this communal caregiver—but it also meant that in belonging to everyone, she also belonged to no one. I realized that this is the catch-22 of anyone who is a woman unto herself. Women, first and foremost, belong to themselves, so nobody can really have them; but, there’s also this element of self-sacrificing and giving to the idea of the feminine.”
Joining Lou on Queen of Time are two inspirations from the world of bluegrass, Jerry Douglas and Billy Strings. Dobro master Douglas helps open the album on “Nothing Else Matters” (an original Lou wrote with Nashville’s Maya de Vitry and Phoebe Hunt). Lou’s collaboration with Strings, “Nothing’s Working”, will sound familiar to fans of the fiery guitarist as this song he co-wrote with Lou also appears on his Grammy-nominated 2020 album Renewal.
“This was another track that came together over the course of a few years; it lived as the first verse alone for a long time,” Lou said of “Nothing’s Working”. “A suicide in our community stirred me to finish the lyrics, and [the] pandemic gave Billy and I some extra time at home to flush it out.”
On the titular lead single, Lou explores themes of duality lyrically and musically. As she repeatedly croons “Who are you?” the song descends from a strummable acoustic ballad into a psychedelic spiral.
“I wrote ‘Queen of Time’ back in 2016, when thinking about Absalom, the caterpillar who challenges Alice to claim who she is,” Lou explained. “Its title is ironic to me; time management is not my forte. But ultimately, it’s about the duality of human experience. Sometimes you feel like the social butterfly and sometimes you feel like the caterpillar who needs to cocoon. Sometimes you feel like the queen of time, and sometimes you feel like a wishing well. The truth is you’re always both and all of it at once. It can feel overwhelming, but self-knowledge is the ultimate power.”
Check out the title track from the new Lindsay Lou album Queen of Time, available here for pre-order. She has a string of tour dates, including shows with Sweet Water Warblers, set to pick up next Sunday with a set at Hog Farm Hideaway. See below for a full list of concerts and visit her website for tickets.
Lindsay Lou – “Queen of Time” (Official Video)
Queen of Time Tracklist
1. Nothing Else Matters (feat. Jerry Douglas)
2. Nothing’s Working (feat. Billy Strings)
3. I Can Help
4. On Your Side (Starman)
5. Love Calls
6. Queen of Time
10. This Too Shall Pass
Lindsay Lou 2023 Tour Dates
June 11 – Laytonville, CA @ Hog Farm Hideaway
June 25 – Oconomowac, WI @ Magic Mansion Series **
July 7-8 – Petoskey, MI @ Blissfest Music Festival
July 9 – Petoskey, MI @ Blissfest Music Festival **
July 16-19 – Dinosaur, Co @ RiverWonderGrass
August 2 – Telluride, CO @ Sunset Music Series
August 4 – Crested Butte, CO @ The Public House
August 5 – Del Norte, CO @ Rhythms On The Rio
August 6 – Buena Vista, CO @ Lariat
August 18-19 – Wellston, MI @ Hoxeyville
September 16 – Louisville, KY @ Bourbon & Beyond
September 30 – Annapolis, MD @ Baygrass Festival
October 6-8 – Pelham, TN @ CaveFest ^^
December 6-9 – Puerto Morelos, Mexico @ Strings & Sol
** – Sweet Water Warblers
^^ – Artist at Large & Band Set