Joel's Single 'Take Some Love and Pass It On' (2021)
Joel Lindsey’s new single, Take Some Love and Pass It On, reflects on how positive minds and compassionate hearts have carried us through the pandemic this far.
The song comes one year after Lindsey’s song The World Will Heal in Time, inspired by the onset of COVID-19 ironically coinciding with the start of Spring. Due to social-distancing limitations, Take Some Love and Pass It On was also recorded in Lindsey’s home studio. Once Lindsey had laid down his vocal, guitar and keyboard parts, he sent them on to Tim College and James Kurasch who recorded drums and bass guitar in their respective homes.
“The last year has been an unprecedented test of psychological strength for us all. We’ve had to prop ourselves up and carry on in spite of our losses to Covid, the family we’ve longed to see and the friends with whom we haven’t raised glasses since March of 2020. The lack of fulfilment and achievement, the financial worries, the uncertainty of employment: it has sometimes been a struggle just to get through the day.”
“So how did we pull through this dreadful year? It might sound cliché, but I think that the answer is Love! We reached out to one another more than ever before. We entertained each other from near and far with jokes, music or a simple phone call just to check in. We were compassionate, considerate and concerned because we knew that our neighbors were enduring the same things that we were. This was the inspiration for the song. It was the will to care for one another in spite of our own hardships and differences. By sending out love, we as a community endured.”
While Lindsey was unable to perform in bars and clubs in 2020 like so many other musicians across the globe, he moved to online performances broadcast weekly to the US, UK and beyond. This allowed Lindsey to engage with fans like never before.
“Initially, performing online was a daunting new medium. But I grew into it once I got past the oddity of standing alone singing into a webcam in my living room. The virtual gigs gave me a musical workout, plus the ability to watch these live performances back led me to become more critical of my intonation, dynamics and audience-engagement. Listeners responded particularly well to original music so I found myself songwriting again: a welcome escape from the day-to-day worries.”
In non-pandemic years, Lindsey runs his private event company, Joel Lindsey Entertainment, specializing in weddings and events. While the industry was at a standstill, Lindsey reached out to James Palanza of Light Motion Studios, a Pittsburgh-based wedding videography company. With more time on their hands than they would have preferred, Palanza took the opportunity to try something new and make a music video for this song.
“James’ film work is amazing, but he hadn’t shot a music video before. I told him it would be just like shooting a wedding, just without the cookie table.”
The video features the musicians performing on a grassy area in downtown Pittsburgh. A small group of families are trying to make the best of things, chatting from a distance on a chilly day on the cusp of Spring. Lindsey’s young son, Levi, plays soccer with other toddlers, all masked-up: a symbol of their resilience. Folks have adapted to this way of life, and in spite of the pandemic will still pursue finding some happiness and normalcy where they can.
Joel reminisces about writing The World Will Heal in Time in March 2020. There was so much unknown about the pandemic a year ago. As a Brit who did not grow up in Western Pennsylvania, he is always glad to see the end of our treacherously cold Winters, denoted by the hallmark signs of Springtime.
“Just as Spring 2020 was stomped out by the start of the pandemic, Spring 2021 brings something we’ve missed - Hope. Resurgence. A glimpse into a possible future where we can return to who we once were.”
“From Pittsburgh to Paris, we’ll all have our own pandemic stories to tell. We’ll recount how we got through it, and the people who were there for us.”
“We’ve had time. More than we wanted. So what have we learned? That a little love goes a long way. “
Lindsey is currently recording a full-length solo album, set to be released this summer.
Joel's Single 'The World Will Heal in Time' (2020)
Joel Lindsey’s single, The World Will Heal in Time is inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, coinciding with the start of Spring - a time of resurgence and new life. At a point in his life where as a professional musician he faces unemployment, Joel found himself with time and inspiration. As he sat in his backyard, watching his two-year-old son play among the budding flowers, he pondered how the grass will continue to grow, the tulips will emerge. Even the weeds will come up. None of this will stop - rebirth is inevitable; the song wrote itself from there.
At this time of year, Joel is typically singing and strumming his guitar in bars, restaurants, casinos, retirement homes and hospitals. His scheduled performance at weddings, birthday parties and corporate events have ground to a halt. “This was how I carved out a music career in Pittsburgh. This is how I've supported my family for the last decade.”
“The song was conceived at a very specific moment. On March 22nd, 2020, a warm afternoon, I was sitting in a garden chair in my backyard watching our son, Levi, play on the lawn. He was pointing at what I thought were weeds but turned out to be mint.”
“My wife, Amy, had planted a small mint plant the year before and it had now grown along the fence, three meters across. I showed Levi how to pick it and enjoy the scent of the mint under his nose. As I watched him, I started to look around us at the emergence of spring; lilac and white blossoms on the trees, the grass growing tall, the bush leaves thickening and the wild onions popping up. Bees, birds, life. Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2007, Spring has always been my favorite season. It's like a good, deep breath. I've always felt invigorated and refreshed at this time of year. The feeling you need after a long, grey Winter. Looking around and then at my son, it occurred to me that this was the strangest, saddest, loneliest Spring we had ever known.”
To adhere to the stay-at-home order, the song was recorded exclusively at Joel’s home. The conception of the song to completion of the audio recording and video took twelve days. “Prior to this, I've pondered songs for months and found it hard to complete anything. But I have had a lot swirling around my mind on the subject, so in one moment this song just poured out.”
The video was filmed on his porch and in his backyard. It may not have a “professional polish”, but Joel felt that it best reflected today’s climate. “Amy, and I stayed home and did all of this ourselves. We'd never shot and edited a video before, but found ourselves with the time to try.”
“These are trying times for our minds and imaginations. I don't think it is automatic that a musician will feel compelled or inspired to write. Or that any artist should suddenly want to create. People are struggling to find the motivation to get anything done, despite the ample time we have on our hands. We're all just trying to cope and process what is happening in our world. Artists shouldn't be made to feel guilt for not creating. People shouldn't be under fire or shamed for not being proactive.”
Joel has felt overwhelmed by the initial positive response after posting it on his Facebook page for family and friends. “My favorite comment was from an acquaintance who shared it to her Facebook wall and wrote:
‘You might cry when you hear this. Actually, you probably should cry. But you'll feel better afterward, trust me.’ - Katie Hutchinson College”
“For me, writing this song was very therapeutic and helped me understand my own thoughts and feelings. Regarding its effect, I didn't want to make a sad song that made people feel even worse - rather I wanted to send a message of hope to lift spirits. I also hope that it will inspire others to bring some positivity to those around them. We all need it.”
Joel's Early Years
At the age of 13, Joel Lindsey fronted his first band, Easy, in his hometown of London, England. In 2007, he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to begin his life as a full-time musician. During that time, he has toured throughout the United States, from San Francisco to New York City, as well as in England and Italy. In addition to his solo work, he also performs with the band, Boulevard of the Allies. He has shared the stage with Denny Laine (Wings, Moody Blues), Italian superstar, Elisa Toffoli, and Oscar Isaac (Star Wars).