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Home » Sub Pop

Ferguson sees a world of monkeys under stars

Submitted by on December 16, 2011 – 12:11 pmNo Comment

When Lindsay Ferguson wrote the lyrics a few years back to the title track of her new album Monkeys Under Stars, she knew instantly that it would be her album title.

“I picture that we’re all one in so many ways as humans. We all go through similar things and emotions,” she says. “We’re just monkeys all trying to have a good time – monkeys under the stars being playful and silly. When I wrote those lyrics, it hit me right away as an album title.”

Although her songs are very intimate and personal – with lyrics such as “I could be more for you” and “We don’t have what it takes” – they are meant for a broader audience. Every individual can place their own experience to fill in the blanks on the album, providing somewhat of an interpersonal mad gab.

“Let’s say they were written for a plethora of people I had crushes on or [are] close to me. I think things don’t work out because you’re just not ready, and that’s why everyone says everything happens for a reason.

“Let’s call it unrequited love. I’ve already filled so many rivers; I’ve taken so much time to kill this pain; I’ve learned and I don’t want to go through it again.”

Worldly would be an understatement for an artist like Ferguson. Born in Bermuda and raised in Ontario and Quebec, she discovered her love for producing music at a later age, when her travels took her to St John’s, Newfoundland. It was on The Rock she realized music was her passion.

“After I finished university, I had the opportunity to move to St John’s,” recounts Ferguson. “I had never been submersed into a musical culture before.

“When I was young the focus was to go to school, and to go to university, and get an education. I wrote my first song in Newfoundland.”

Touring in her 1992 Dodge minivan, she’s circled the North American circuit and covered most of Europe (sans minivan, of course). She has shared the stage with many influential characters such as Steve Earl, Tegan and Sara, Ron Sexsmith, and even had the opportunity to sit for a tea with Bono.

“All of those people left me with something to walk away from, especially since these people have been doing music much longer than me.

“Bono, he just really liked my music. He told me to keep it real with everything in the computerized world today, and the way technology is changing. I have a really ‘rootsy’ and ‘souly’ sound, and he told me to keep it that way. Stick to what you know and sing from the heart.”

Ferguson doesn’t come from a family of musicians, nor was music part of her ambiance growing up. As a little girl, no one could keep her from singing though, and she danced until her little feet fell off. She says she doesn’t understand where the innate musical talent came from, but it took her a while to develop her niche.

“I’ve always had an ear for music,” says Ferguson. “I’ve always loved to sing and I dreamed of singing on stage. But when you’re a kid, you have no idea how to make that happen.

“I had a guitar player at first, but he was more rock n’ roll and I was more folky and we didn’t agree. So I got a guitar and taught myself how to play, and then I started depending on myself for my music. I started making things happen.”

The best part about Ferguson is that she is in touch with her fan base on a daily basis, through her online blog at LindsayFerguson.com.

“A guy named Jeff Harris, my first photographer and creator of my site, told me the most important thing is to write every day and about anything, and that’s awesome. But be personal he said – people want to know who you are.”

Story by Devin Size; photo by David Irvine

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