Sara Lindquist ’18

Country Singer

How did you get started as a recording artist?
I was in a women’s choir in high school, and the group’s director did recording work in Nashville. She introduced me to a guy who needed harmonies on his music. I did some solo work with him, then I got introduced to a producer from Skyville Records and made an EP that was released mid-freshman year at Dartmouth: Good Day for a Good Day. It’s still on iTunes and Spotify.

What drew you to country music?
Country’s a good fit for the mood of my voice. It’s positive, it’s upbeat—that reflects who I am.

How often do you perform?
Being in college isn’t super-conducive to going on tour, but I did perform locally in Seattle after my EP came out. I joined the Decibelles to stay in touch with music, and I’m hoping to get back on the country scene after I graduate. To compensate for not being in Nashville, I’ve been working on my songwriting. My goal is to have an album full of my own songs.

What’s your songwriting process?
I like to sit in a coffee shop with my journal and listen to what people are talking about. For example, I heard someone say, “I can’t read your mind.” That’s a great hook. Then I sit with that and think, How is that relevant in my life? Then I tell the who, what, when, and where of the song: develop a setting in the first verse, establish the hook or thesis in the chorus, then the climax in the bridge. Songwriting is fun—it’s like a puzzle.

Do you set your own lyrics to music?
A tune will catch in my head and I’ll just take out my phone to record what I’m thinking. I’ll play around with the lyrics and melodies, then sing my ideas for my vocal coach. She helps me piece together the puzzle. It helps to get other people’s input.

Which musicians inspire you?
My favorite right now is Grace Potter. The edge of her voice is amazing—she gives me chills.

You’re also co-captain of the volleyball team—how do you manage it all?
Dartmouth has been a lesson in time management, for sure. It’s jam-packed and chaotic, but I just take it one day at a time.

Photo by John Sherman

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