Lindsey Stirling remains fearless enough to always dream big. In four years since the release of her 2012 self-titled debut, the electronic music impresario, classically trained violinist, dancer, and artist quietly and humbly became one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars by clinging to her groundbreaking vision of cinematic violin-driven electronic music. After bowing at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Dance/Electronic Album Chart, holding #1 on the Classical Album Chart for 21 consecutive weeks, and receiving a Billboard Music Award for “Top Dance/Electronic Album,” her sophomore opus Shatter Me would not only garner an RIAA Gold certification, but it would rank as the #2 Dance/Electronic Album and #1 Classical Album on Billboard’s 2015 Year-End charts. Attracting nearly 8 million subscribers and 1.3 billion-plus views on YouTube by 2016, Forbes placed Lindsey at #4 on its yearly YouTube artists list, making her the highest-ranked female. Her headline tours would play to a cumulative audience of over 500,000 people worldwide, and her literary debut The Only Pirate at the Party—co-written with her sister Brook S. Passey—became a New York Times Bestseller.
When it came time to begin work on her third full-length album, Brave Enough [Lindsey Stomp Music, LLC], she took a look at her journey thus far and asked herself an important question….
“I basically wrote Shatter Me about overcoming my anorexia,” she admits. “So, I thought, ‘What’s the next step of the process?’ I realized that breaking free is just the beginning. In order to continue through the journey you have to decide every day not to crawl back into that shell when things get tough. It’s easy to fall into our old habits. You can’t feel true joy, if you numb the bad. Brave Enough is a continuation of the story. It draws on the same contrast of light versus dark, but the flow is very different. It starts in a place of less surety. As the record progresses, it softens and turns more optimistic and hopeful. I’m way closer to the place I’m seeking than when I started this album.”
However, she faced one of the toughest years of her life in the process. Finishing up a whirlwind of touring, Lindsey returned to Los Angeles to commence writing in August 2015. Her best friend and pianist Gavi was then hospitalized, tragically passing away shortly thereafter. His influence and spirit left an indelible mark on the entire creative process.
“That was the hardest thing I ever went through,” she sighs. “I just wanted to become a workaholic and mask all of my feelings. But I had to feel them, let them sink in, and express them. I believe that our loved ones can be close to us even after they pass. Every day I went to the studio, I wore something that reminded me of him, whether it was one of his old shirts, a necklace he had given me, his beanie, or something. I’d ask for his help that way. Now, I feel his presence throughout the music because I know he was there with me inspiring me. When he died, I didn’t know where this album was headed. It came out very differently than I’d imagined in the best way possible. I lived what I learned from Shatter Me.”
The first single “Something Wild” [featuring Andew McMahon] sways between her majestic violin, acoustic, guitar, handclaps, and an empowering and energized refrain. McMahon’s staggering range perfectly complements Lindsey’s expansive sonic vision. Elsewhere, “Hold My Heart” [featuring ZZ Ward] couples a propulsive beat with a lyrical violin line before culminating on an unshakable hook and sweeping bridge. There’s magic in the intersection of ZZ Ward’s smoky blues intonation and Lindsey’s inimitable instrumentation.
“I came into the session saying, ‘I don’t want a man to hold my hand. I just want one to hold my heart,’” she recalls. “That’s the tagline of the song. I knew the feeling for the music and ZZ and I wrote the lyrics together.
For the song ‘Lost Girls’ the video will pick up where the ‘Shatter Me’ story left off. The ballerina has broken out of the snow globe and now she has to face everything new joys and fears in a new world.”
On the album, “Where Do We Go” [featuring Carah Faye] tempers resounding piano with a violin lead and Carah Faye’s impressive delivery. “Sometimes, you do everything right in life, but the answer is still, ‘No,’ that’s not what your path is meant to be,’” she explains. “It made me think about Gavi. I prayed so hard he’d get better, but he didn’t. It’s about faith and trusting that God knows what is best for us and he has a perspective that we cannot see.”
In addition to a barrage of instrumental epics, Brave Enough boasts a few more dream collaborations for Lindsey. Christina Perri would join forces with her on the title track, while Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo—whose music Lindsey covered in her high school band—lent his talents to “Don’t Let The Feeling Fade” alongside rapper Lecrae. EDM superstar Zedd teamed up to produce “Love Is A Feeling” [featuring Rooty] Welcoming these voices and perspectives with open arms, her playing binds together the entire musical narrative.
“I’ve learned how to open my heart in a way I’ve never opened it before,” she goes on. “You have to be brave to do that. That’s why the album is called Brave Enough. Vulnerability is often seen as a sign of weakness, however the exact opposite is true. The people who are authentic and vulnerable are the bravest. Gavi, was so Brave. He loved with his whole heart and after he passed, I had to be brave enough to keep going.”
Now, she’s ready to share that message with countless fans worldwide.
“I want people to feel like they can be brave enough do the things they want to do,” she leaves off. “Everybody has hopes and dreams. Teach yourself to gain the courage you may not have in the moment. This record is proof you can.”