Song­writer’s loss in­spired her to ditch day job for mu­sic

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Jen Zoratti

IN the fall of 2012, Amer­i­cana singer/ song­writer Lind­say May ex­pe­ri­enced a se­ries of losses that changed her life. Her mother died, fol­lowed by her grand­mother. Then she lost the loyal friend who helped her get through those dark days: her dog. “I re­mem­ber I fell and I couldn’t get up,” the 36-year-old Kelowna, B.C., na­tive re­calls. “Be­cause my mom died so young I re­al­ized that life is short. I didn’t want to look back and have re­grets.” And so, the busi­ness grad­u­ate quit her sta­ble cor­po­rate day job to pur­sue her mu­sic ca­reer — which she had been build­ing for over a decade al­bums un­der her belt — 2008’s Bronze and Blue and 2012’s Shim­mer — and her third al­bum, this year’s Girl With Grit, could just be the record to raise her pro­file. Themes of per­se­ver­ance and em­pow­er­ment run through this beau­ti­fully crafted six-song collection, which is pop­u­lated by ad­ven­tur­ous, re­silient, flawed women. “Ac­cord­ing to Net­flix, I love ‘Strong Fe­male Char­ac­ters,’” May says with a laugh. Un­like the Strong Fe­male Char­ac­ter archetypes we so of­ten see on­screen, May’s pro­tag­o­nists aren’t one-di­men­sional — no small feat, con­sid­er­ing they ex­ist in the rel­a­tively small space of a song. Al­though the EP was writ­ten be­fore her mother’s death, it’s an oddly fit­ting trib­ute to the woman who ac­tively dis­cour­aged her from pur­su­ing a ca­reer in mu­sic. May’s mother may not have cham­pi­oned her dream of be­com­ing a singer/song­writer, but she made sure her daugh­ter un­der­stood the im­por­tance of in­de­pen­dence and agency. “I had a strong mom who was a sin­gle par­ent who wanted to make sure I never starved,” May says. “I don’t re­gret go­ing into busi­ness. It was a good de­ci­sion.” Throw­ing her­self into mu­sic has also proved to be a good de­ci­sion. Per­form­ing has been a vi­tal part of her griev­ing process. “It’s like I’m play­ing my own ther­apy,” she says. “And people will come up to me and say, ‘Thanks for that,’ or ‘I needed that.’ Hard things hap­pen in life. I had to find a way to keep go­ing. “Mu­sic got me out of bed,” she says. “It gave me hope.”

Lind­say May

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