Updated: Jul 1
The talent stays entering the scene in the UK with English pop singer Lindsey Farrow. The artist known for songs 11 Lies, Moonshine and Love is steps in play with a moving new ballad record Never Add Up. Teaming up with Pittsburgh singer, songwriter and musician Demi Michelle known for album Dear Diary, Will I Ever, Homecoming Queen and recent the record Across the Pond. The sonically striking pair present a song highlighting reflections on the loss of life, changes and also share what it was like working together on the track. How they met and the construction behind the piano-led and lyrically significant song.
Stream the single available on multiple platforms vis songlink
1. Lindsey Farrow and Demi Schwartz, Thanks for joining us to chat about your new single together Never Add Up. It’s a proper ballad, very heartfelt and lyrically. How was it creating this together? Lindsey: I really enjoyed this process and it ran really smoothly. With me being from England and Demi from America, it was a great meeting of minds ‘across the pond’. I got to know a new musician, songwriter and generally a great person and got to create an amazing emotional track. It also gave me a great opportunity to hear more music and broaden my listening library.
We worked together very well and each of us got to have our voice heard in every step of the process. We got to showcase our talents as well as learn a few tricks along the way – co-writing opportunities are the best for this. Demi: Working with Lindsey on this song was such an incredible experience. When it comes to writing a song with another artist, it’s so important for there to be a natural connection. Not all collaborations flow well, and it’s a great feeling when there’s a special spark. During my first zoom call with Lindsey, I could tell right away we’d be a great fit. Once she explained the kind of song she wanted to write and created a playlist for me to listen to for inspiration, I was able to see myself co-writing it with her.
I loved stepping out of the spotlight and really taking the role of a songwriter. It was important to me that this song unfolded in a way that was right for Lindsey, so I had to actively listen to everything she was saying. The whole time, I was constantly taking notes and asking questions to really dig deep into the story and message of the song. I’m so grateful Lindsey allowed me to write this beautiful song with her. Writing for other artists is my main goal, and I couldn’t be happier that my first songwriting cut is this song.
It was so nice working with another artist who loves music as much as me. We were both so excited about the whole process, open to each others’ suggestions, and willing to take the time to craft the song exactly how we wanted it. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this co-write, and I hope I’ll get the opportunity to work with Lindsey again in the future.
2. You both set the pace for the song by focusing on loss and breaking through wrecks. As songwriters what was it like forming lyrics for such an emotive track. Did you do writing camps, did you bounce lyrics off each other, getting your E Barrett Browning on? Lindsey: We were regularly talking through Twitter, email and Google Meets on a Friday evening at 6 pm GMT time. We started off with collecting ideas of what we wanted the track to sound like (I was heavily influenced by musical theatre emotional ballads, Final Fantasy vocal tracks, Jamie Pineda (Sweetbox) and all of those emotional ballads that you belt with tears running down your face.
I was also heavily hit with how before and since Covid the world has been hit with big changes. Not just the grief over loss of life but also people making large changes which have included leaving and in a lot of cases, never hearing from again. It’s affected me massively and I’ve shed so many tears in the process. I had to let my heart and soul be able to express themselves in a musical way – a process I commonly follow and is reflected in my social media as a singer “just singing how I feel”.
We mind mapped words, emotions, adjectives, nouns and any things that struck us when talking about heartbreak, loss and grief. We then decided on the metaphor of a cold and empty beach to describe the effect of the loss for verse one and then the warmth and personal experience (sharing war stories over pieces of cake) in the second verse. I really appreciate how Demi helped to bring all of this together in a structured way – I usually have a habit of going off on tangents!
The bridge came during one Google Meet call when we were going over the melody line and I just started singing the hurt from inside and we noted it down straight away logging the chords and everything used. I think it was key to tap into that pain and just be honest. Demi: When Lindsey told me she wanted to write a very emotional track, I was completely on board. Emotional ballads are some of my favourite songs to write, and being emotional and authentic is something I always strive for in my songwriting. Lindsey and I crafted the lyrics together, and they came to life so naturally. I took notes while she was sharing her story, and we did a lot of freewriting around the concept and tone of the song. Once we had a document full of authentic content, we started piecing the song together. I think the lyrics are absolutely gorgeous. The imagery and metaphorical quality of the first verse really paints a vivid picture and sets the scene for the rest of the song. The storytelling and overall message of realizing that sometimes, things will never add up shines through. Lindsey and I had to dig deep into the story and our emotions in order to authentically communicate the message.
Writing this song required me to put myself in Lindsey’s shoes and look inward to be in the right mindset to craft the lyrics. I loved the collaborative lyric writing process. It flowed so well because we were both on the same page and had a clear vision for the song. We wrote the lyrics pretty quickly, and we were both so open and inspired the whole time.
3. Now It’s not often we get duets like this, so this is lit. How did you two meet and as far as the production process creating the instrumentation behind the song, Demi we’re guessing you laid down some guitar or piano chords right? Demi: I connected with Lindsey through Twitter. I saw her tweet about looking for songwriters to collaborate with. After I listened to her music, I thought that I’d have something to bring to the table, so I reached out to her. I’m so glad I did.
In terms of the instrumentation and production, yes, I started on guitar. Once I had a melody idea for the song, I played it for Lindsey on guitar and she gave some suggestions to tailor the song more to her style. I started off with a melody idea for the first verse, pre-chorus, and chorus, rather than diving into the whole song because I wanted to make sure that I was on the right track. Once we nailed down the melody for the majority of the song, we only had the bridge left. The bridge is such a powerful part of the song, and this is where the raw and painful emotions really come out. I told Lindsey to freestyle something for the bridge, and I swear that my jaw hit the floor. I loved what she did, and after giving a few suggestions for phrasing, we had the bridge done in no time. I also think the harmonic choices we made in the bridge, having more minor and darker chords, really solidifies it.
We tossed around ideas for the production and decided to make it a piano ballad. The piano is my main instrument, so I absolutely loved getting the opportunity to compose the piano accompaniment for the record. I recorded the piano when I was at my studio back in January. Then, I got the piano track to Lindsey, and she recorded the vocals and added in some strings. We wanted to keep this song very stripped back because it brings out the emotion and vulnerability in the song. We also made the choice to have the final chorus stripped back. I swear, it gives me chills every single time. I feel like the end is so symbolic. After all of the pain, confusion, and frustration, there is a stage of having to accept reality for what it is. It’s almost like no energy is left, and there’s no choice but to deal with it and realize that some questions will never be answered. I think the end of the song really brings this out, and as a whole, the production and musical choices Lindsey and I made really take the listener on a journey.
Lindsey: Lol – We’d initially met on Twitter through a random tweet I’d sent about wanting to co-write more and Demi got in touch in October 2021. We pulled all of our ideas together in song writing sessions and started to work on some chords – Demi on (you guessed it) her guitar and myself on piano. We had already discussed that piano would be the leading instrument as it was more in line with the inspiration tracks and had an air of vulnerability about it. It was also at this time I was listening to Demi’s awesome EP Dear Diary and discovered how talented she was on piano and just knew she had to lead on that part.
Demi recorded the piano track in a studio and then bounced it back to me ready for the vocals to be added. Demi had already sent through ideas of the melodic line of the verse and chorus and so I could get to work straight away on recording the vocals.
I used FL Studio to import the track, record my lead vocal and then send it back to Demi. We did this a few times where I would record a vocal take or harmony, send to Demi for feedback and then make any changes that we agreed to. The harmonies were inspired by other tracks that I’ve written, co-written and performed such as Love Is, SnowBlind, Merry Christmas My Love and Moonshine.
After the vocals were agreed, we knew it was missing something in the build-up to the bridge where all of the hurt and pain is really coming to the front of the track. Demi suggested including some string parts and from that, I recorded in a synth violin and cello part to really build up to the bridge. After hearing this, it was just known that the only thing you should hear at the end is a lone voice (echoing the loneliness felt) and a pulled back piano accompaniment.
Once all of this was agreed, I used FL Studio to balance, add vocal effects, add instrument effects, level and master the final track for release. 4. This track is serious fire, what reception do we aim for when new listeners press play and catch the vibes?https://song.link/i/1610808294 Lindsey: Thank you so much I always hope that listeners are able to feel the track and be able to have some emotional connection with the track with their own lives and experiences. There’s been a lot of focussing on working through the pain and grief and I hope this track gives people the permission to stop and be able to take some time for themselves in reflection. Demi: I hope that listeners find comfort in this song. We’ve all been in situations where we wished that something would work out, then had to come to terms with the fact that it never would. Personally, I think that the hardest part isn’t necessarily the moment things crumble. It’s the wondering that comes after—wondering why it didn’t work out. Sometimes, questions never get answered and the only thing to do is find a way to accept reality for what it is. No matter what our listeners are going through, I want them to know they’re not alone because, for all of us, some things will never add up.
5. Apart from this record will we hear more soundtracks like this from you both , maybe a joint EP coming soon?
Lindsey: We’ve not discussed it yet but with how great this process has gone, how amazing this track is and just how awesome Demi is, it’s definitely not off the books. Definitely, someone, I would love to work with again.
Demi: We’ll see! I’d absolutely love to write more emotional piano ballads with Lindsey. I
also really love exploring different styles and vibes, so I’d be down to do whatever Lindsey would want to write. I’m looking forward to enjoying this release and seeing how listeners respond to it. Then, maybe Lindsey and I will write another
6. To finish it all. We want to say thanks so much for your time on sharing more behind this new tune. Is there anything you would to say to your new fans and supporters?: T Lindsey : Thank you so much for your time and for the opportunity to support this track.
For new, old and not sure fans, the world’s biggest thank you for all of your support. Genuinely, I appreciate every single like, comment, follow and listen – you are all superstars.
I also hope you get the chance to check out my website and social media to keep up to date with future music including co-writings, solo work , solo performances and more – always love a new follow : Official site ww.LindseyFarrow.com
YouTube: Lindsey Farrow
Demi: First, thank you so much for interviewing Lindsey and me about “Never Add Up.” I would love to thank all of the readers of this interview and listeners of the song for taking time to support us and “Never Add Up.” This song means a lot to us, so I’m forever grateful for everyone who gives it a chance.
This is such a special song, and Lindsey and I combined our styles and passion for music to write it, and I hope you love “Never Add Up” as much as we do. If you’d like to check out my music, podcast, blog, online shop, and more, my website is http://demimschwartz.com. My handle on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube is @demimschwartz.
Thank you so very much again. I hope you enjoy “Never Add Up!”