Lindsay Ell Explores the Stages of Grief On New Album, ‘Heart Theory’

Lindsay Ell; Photo by Jeremy Cowart
Lindsay Ell; Photo by Jeremy Cowart
Lindsay Ell; Photo by Jeremy Cowart
“If theory is the science of music, heart theory is the science of a heart,” Ell says.

Lindsay Ell is laying it all out on the line on her forthcoming new album, Heart Theory.

Out August 14, the singer/songwriter/musician’s sophomore project explores the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. The album was written after Ell‘s personal experience with a very public breakup but carries a universal message for anyone dealing with various hardships in life.

“If theory is the science of music, heart theory is the science of a heart,” Ell shared of the record. “I hope this roadmap can be a comfort if you need it, reassurance when you need to remember to believe in yourself or maybe just a glimpse into a memory that’s made you who you are.”

Heart Theory includes 12 tracks, 11 of which were co-written by Ell, who recruited artists and songwriters such as Kane Brown, Tyler Hubbard, Brandy Clark and more to work with her on her most personal project to date.

According to a press release, Heart Theory “extends to every aspect of the album – its cover art features the spectrum of corresponding colors to each stage, mirroring the music’s movement itself from dark to light, while its tracklist subtly reveals the album title through use of seemingly random capitalization.”

Ell and acclaimed producer Dann Huff completed the album this spring during quarantine from two different locations, making for a memorable album-making process.

Heart Theory follows Ell’s debut album, The Project, which was released in August of 2017.

Lindsay Ell - Heart Theory
Lindsay Ell – Heart Theory

heart theory track listing (with writers)
a journey through the seven stages of grief

shock
1. “Hits me” (Lindsay Ell, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder)

denial
2. “how good” (Lindsay Ell, Brandy Clark)
3. “i don’t lovE you” (Adam Hambrick, Melissa Fuller, Neil Medley)

anger
4. “wAnt me back” (Lindsay Ell, Kane Brown, Matt McGinn, Lindsay Rimes)
5. “get oveR you” (Lindsay Ell, Gordie Sampson, Kelly Archer)
6. “wrong girl” (Lindsay Ell, Steph Jones, Matt McGinn, Luke Niccoli)

bargaining
7. “body language of a breakup” (Lindsay Ell, Laura Veltz, Sam Ellis)

depression
8. “good on you” (Lindsay Ell, Sam Ellis, Micah Premnath)

testing
9. “The oTHEr side” (Lindsay Ell, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt McGinn)
10. “gO to” (Lindsay Ell, Nicolle Gaylon, Jordan Reynolds)

acceptance
11. “make you” (Lindsay Ell, Brandy Clark)
12. “ReadY to love” (Lindsay Ell, Jessie Jo Dillon, Matt McGinn, Joey Hyde)