Lindsay Ell is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Calgary, AB, before moving to Nashville, TN. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that she makes country music. After all, cowboys and other agricultural occupations are critical components of Albertan identity. Moreover, Nashville is the undisputed heart of the country music industry. Specifically, Ell has made a career out of country-pop with rock and blues influence. A mix that might interest some listeners more than others.
Here is our opinion of the ten best Lindsay Ell songs released so far:
10. “What Happens in a Small Town”
“What Happens in a Small Town” came out on Brantley Gilbert’s fifth studio album, Fire & Brimstone. It is included on this list because Ell performed the female part of the duet. The song was successful by any reasonable standard. For proof, consider how it became platinum-certified in the United States, meaning it sold more than a million copies in that country.
9. “By the Way”
There is some bitterness in “By That Way.” That makes sense because the narrator directs the song at her exes, with whom she seems to have parted ways on less than amicable terms. However, the song is a statement of self-affirmation, meaning its confidence overwhelms everything else on it. Ell has said that “By That Way” took inspiration from Shania Twain and the Chicks. That shows, but that isn’t a bad thing.
8. “Right On Time”
“Right On Time” is a non-album single released in 2022. It is yet another uplifting song from Ell’s repertoire. As the story goes, she named the song thus as a response to women fearing that they have missed the best times for various things that matter to them. The sentiment seems to have resonated with the intended listeners because the song peaked at the number eight position on the Billboard Canada Country chart while securing a position on the Canadian Hot 100 chart in the same week.
7. “Strawberry Wine”
People have been very creative when it comes to making new alcoholic beverages. Thanks to that, strawberry wine is a real thing with a distinctive flavor. Of course, Deana Carter wasn’t thinking about the literal alcoholic beverage when she released the original version of this song. Instead, she was comparing its sweetness with that of her summer love as a teenager, which is far behind her. The song ends with a poignant statement that she still misses those times, though she isn’t sure whether she is missing her lover or her youthful innocence. Many people have covered “Strawberry Wine.” Ell’s version has earned a spot for being able to hold its own against them.
6. “I Don’t Love You”
“I Don’t Love You” came out the same year as “What Happens in a Small Town.” Its lyrics are messy, which makes sense because they deal with an inherently messy subject. Those curious should know “I Don’t Love You” is a post-breakup song. As a result, the narrator is hurting, as shown by her repetition of the titular line. Other songs have better captured these tumultuous emotions through their lyrics. What makes “I Don’t Love You” stand out is Ell’s voicework, which can be considered some of her best.
5. “Make You Feel My Love”
Bob Dylan was the one who penned “Make You Feel My Love.” However, it has since been covered by hundreds of artists, meaning it is one of the standards of modern times. Ell’s version gets a spot on this list for being enjoyable without being derivative. People often read Christian sentiments in this song. They aren’t wrong to do so. “Make You Feel My Love” is versatile enough to support a wide range of interpretations.
4. “Waiting On You”
“Waiting On You” was one of Ell’s singles from her third studio album, The Project. It benefited from her mounting experience. As a result, “Waiting On You” reached the number-four position on the Billboard Canada Country chart, thus making it the second of her Top Ten hits.
Indeed, “Waiting On You” was followed by “Criminal,” which became Ell’s first single to reach the top of the Billboard Canada Country chart. Amusingly, it is a much happier song than people might expect based on its name. That is because “Criminal” refers to the idea of someone stealing the narrator’s heart from seemingly nowhere. This song was targeted at the mainstream. Moreover, the numbers make it clear it was successful in its intended mission. Something that is far from being guaranteed in the world of music.
2. “Want Me Back”
Speaking of which, “Want Me Back” is Ell’s other number-one single on the Billboard Canada Country chart. That said, it came out in 2020 rather than in 2017, meaning there was a gap between the two. The song’s success was no coincidence. It draws from the same sentiments of self-confidence and self-affirmation as some of Ell’s other songs. Moreover, there was a deliberate attempt to make it more accessible to potential listeners. The song made a respectable impact in Canada, where it became gold-certified by selling more than 40,000 copies.
1. “Shut Me Up”
“Shut Me Up” comes from a much earlier point in Ell’s career. Specifically, it is a non-album single from 2014. Even so, “Shut Me Up” managed to make quite an impression on interested individuals by taking advantage of non-traditional distribution channels. There is a very relatable sense of anger in the song. After all, the narrator has discovered that her significant other is cheating on her. Due to that, she is determined to make this known to everyone in their community, thus ensuring he won’t be able to get away with the deed.
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