Lindsay Reamer is an emerging singer-songwriter from Philadelphia. Her debut EP, Lucky, is forthcoming digitally and on cassette through Dear Life Records on February 26th. The four track release is the first glimpse of an artist with a knack for sly, introspective songwriting and catchy dreampop melodies.
As our latest guest mixer and interviewee, she gives us a collection of ‘Songs to Lay on the Floor To,’ and tells us about the making of Lucky, playing ukelele to tough audiences in college, and the best spa Newark, New Jersey has to offer.
Name: Lindsay Reamer
Hometown: Framingham, MA
Current City of Residence: Philadelphia, PA
Home away from home: King Spa in Newark, NJ. This is kind of a funny answer because I’ve only been there once, but I honestly felt so at peace there. If you know you know.
Last book you read: The last book I read was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. I’m currently and very slowly reading another one by him called A Scanner Darkly. My friend Maggie said it was very depressing so I’ve been avoiding it a bit. I’ve also been occasionally opening up this book called The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Like the title suggests, it is a very expansive record of a lot of different imaginary places mentioned in literature and films. I like to find a random entry and learn about somebody else’s fictional world when I’m feeling all messed up creatively. I feel like it helps me get out of my own head a bit.
Tell us about your musical background and upbringing. Did you have musical parents / siblings, or other early musical influences?
My parents met while they were in music school, so I feel like music was always a part of my life. I also did musical theatre in high school, which always surprises people because I come off as kind of shy in person I think. But I was on stage kicking and doing jazz hands very passionately. My grandmother is also a singer, and she gave me voice lessons when I was younger. I think it is really special that she passed down her voice to me. It’s something I hold really close to my heart. I taught myself guitar at around 13, mostly to play songs by Paramore, Postal Service, Bon Iver, Iron & Wine etc… In college I regrettably dabbled in some ukulele playing and I would play weird Sara Barrelies and Regina Spektor songs in the stairwell of my freshman dorm. People would come out of their rooms and ask me to stop, it was kind of embarrassing. I always wanted to write my own songs but I was too scared to try most of the time.
You started recording Lucky in April 2020. Did the pandemic lockdown help give you the time and space to focus on making music?
It definitely did. I had been writing songs since January and was already planning on recording an EP. I thought about recording it in a studio with my friend Zach, and having it be this big thing with a whole band and whatnot. But when everything shut down in March, I just decided to teach myself recording and producing instead. It was super challenging, but I love proving myself wrong and doing things I thought I couldn’t. If I didn’t have all that time just sitting around at home because of the pandemic, I definitely would not have learned as much as I did.
The pedal steel guitar is a really nice surprise on “Maybe I’ll Stick Around.” Can you tell us briefly about the musicians who helped you with the EP? Did they bring a lot of ideas to the table, or did they just help you bring your vision to reality?
Yeah! I had finished recording most of the songs but felt like there was something missing and asked my friends Ryan, Thommy, and Artie to add a little something. Asking people to collaborate with me absolutely terrified me for some reason. Like I felt like I would just be bothering them. But obviously they were super nice and enthusiastic about helping out. They all played in this jazzy funk band called STIG that I really loved in college. I just kinda sent them the nearly finished tracks and told them to do whatever they felt like doing! They knew exactly what the songs needed and I felt really seen and understood when they sent me their parts.
Your mix focuses almost exclusively on women from the world of ambient and experimental music. Was this your intention or just the way it worked out? Do you have any interest in making music like this, that’s less centered around lyrics and vocals?
That wasn’t really my intention but more of a reflection of my listening habits. I listened to a lot of music made by men growing up and I think subconsciously that was a small part of the reason I convinced myself I couldn’t make music. I didn’t really see myself in any of it.
I’d love to experiment with making ambient music and have found it really grounding this year. I think there’s a lot of cool things happening in the genre right now, a lot of which is a reflection of our current circumstances. My songwriting process is very much centered around lyrical ideas so making music like this would definitely be a challenge!
What’s next for you now that the EP is done? Heading right back to the workshop, or stepping back and enjoying that it’s out in the world? Do you have any non musical plans for 2021, education, travel etc?I’d like to keep honing my production skills and keep learning as much as I can. I feel like I never really left the workshop haha. I’ve got more songs to share but I’m really hard on myself so it can be hard to feel like anything is ever done. Hmmm I don’t really have any plans for 2021 and I’m ok with that! I didn’t spend a lot of time in nature last summer so maybe that will be a priority this year. I just want to stand under a waterfall or something, that would be nice.
‘Songs to Lay on the Floor To’ Tracklist:
HUJIKING – “Saturday” – Hujiking_1 (self-released, 2020)
Green-House – “Sansevieria” – Six Songs for Invisible Gardens (Leaving Records, 2020)
Emily A. Sprague – “Stargazing” – Hill, Flower, Fog (RVNG Intl., 2020)
Eve Maret – “Forgotten Ways” – Stars Aligned (PRAH Recordings, 2020)
Nailah Hunter – “Ruins” – Spells (Leaving Records, 2020)
Xyla – “Now” – Ways (Leaving Records, 2020)
Gia Margaret – “ash” – Mia Gargaret (Orindal Records, 2020)
Karima Walker – “One Moved Slowly Through This Place” – Hands in Our Names (Orindal Records, 2017)
HUJIKING – “Ticking, Clicking Away” – Hujiking_1 (self-released, 2020)
Nina Keith – “97(b)” – MARANASATI 19111 (Grind Select, 2019)
Enchanted Forest – “Bird Rider” – Jacob’s Ladder (Fire Talk, 2020)
Bolomite Jr. – “Ants” – Cold Feet (Dear Life Records, 2021)