We Wanna Be Friends With Singer-Songwriter Ingrid Michaelson
(Courtesy of Ingrid Michaelson)

We Wanna Be Friends With Singer-Songwriter Ingrid Michaelson


Indie singer-songwriter Ingrid Michelson is taking over Wine Country this month as part of the Robert Mondavi summer concert series, and you don't want to miss it.

For one, Michelson's latest single is a sassy break-up song called "Hell No"—perfect for all the single ladies with revenge in mind, or anyone on the hunt for a fun summer jam—that will have you dancing all night long. And if that's not enough, you should also know that she loves SnapChat filters (like the rest of us), loves San Francisco (like the rest of us) and adores lazy Sunday—just like the rest of us!

From Ingrid Michaelson's "Hell No" music video


We caught up with Michaelson to chat about her new album It Doesn't Have to Make Sense (out in August), her favorite couch, and where she finds inspiration.

What was your biggest influence on It Doesn't Have to Make Sense?

About two years ago, I lost my mother. A lot of the record revolves around the idea of loss and working through really difficult times.

Where did the title come from?

When I was trying to sequence the record, there was a wide variety of songs to work with — some that are deep and dark, some that are lighter and more celebratory. I kept saying, "I can't put that song after that song. It doesn't make sense." Then I said out loud, "Well, it doesn't have to make sense." And it was a lightbulb moment. That was basically what I'd been telling myself for the last year and a half, so it was fitting to call the record that.

How has your creative and production process changed over the years?

I came to the songwriting game a little bit later than a lot of my peers, so when I first started writing everything was brand new. It's a lot different now that I've been writing for close to 15 years. And it gets harder, actually, because you don't want to say the same thing over and over again. Even though I have new experiences to talk about, I still sometimes get a little of trapped. On my last record, I did a lot of co-writing for the first time and it really opened my eyes to writing from different standpoints because you're literally with a someone who thinks differently than you. So on this record I did a lot of co-writing as well. It was therapeutic to sit in a room with one or two people and talk about life. I would talk about my deep, dark secrets, because you have to get it out — you have to talk and sing about it.

What are you most excited about for the upcoming Robert Mondavi show?

The winery and setting is beautiful and it seemed like a no-brainer to play there. We're going to play a lot of songs from the new record, so it's pretty exciting and a little scary.

And you'll also be at the Fillmore in October. What's your favorite thing about that venue?

[The Fillmore] is so seeped in history and you feel it when you're in the room. It's not too big, so you can still connect to everybody, and I just love San Francisco in general. We decided we wanted to go back to the Fillmore and play two nights (October 24-25, 2016) instead of a larger venue because it's such an awesome space.

Is there one thing in San Francisco you have to do while you're in town?

Going across the Golden Gate Bridge. It's so dorky; I'm from New York and I don't care about going over the Brooklyn Bridge or taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, but it's always kind of awesome when the top of the bridge is covered by fog. It feels very surreal.

What are you listening to right now?

I'm really hooked on Coldplay's newest record. I know it came out last year — I'm a little behind — but I bought it just a couple months ago and I can't stop listening to it. That, and Lemonade by Beyonce. And Tegan and Sara's new record is pretty awesome too.

What's been the most surprising thing about your music career?

Young girls and women look to me as a sort of role model, which has been very unexpected. There's lots of responsibility that comes along with that, that I didn't really expect. But it's definitely there and definitely getting more and more prevalent—it's a gift.

What's your ideal lazy Sunday?

My perfect day would be waking up whenever I want to wake up, with no alarm clock, laying around, ordering food, laying on my couch, and binge watching some awesome TV show with my boyfriend and my dog.

I say that I spend my money on the three Fs: flights (because I like to fly first class), friends, and furniture. So I bought this couch from Restoration Hardware — it's called the Cloud. I was like a child on Christmas morning when it finally came. It's the most comfortable thing in the world, so when I'm home (which isn't often) I stay parked on it.

// Ingrid at the Robert Mondavi Summer Concert Series: $80, July 23rd, 7 p.m., 7801 St. Helena Hwy. (Oakville), robertmondaviwinery.com

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