Michigan natives Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys are spreading the love of music this Valentine's Day. Their latest album Ionia will be released on Saturday.
The album was recorded in the then-home of Lindsay Lou and her husband, who is the mandolin player for the band. Since then the band has moved to Nashville.
Lou says the move was motivated by stories they heard from friends about the music community there. While Michigan has many gifted young people that inspire creativity and collaboration, Lou says they're often spread throughout the state. She says Nashville provides more of a central community of musicians to feed off of each other's artistic energy.
Lou still loves Michigan though. "Sometimes you have to leave what you love in order to see it from another vantage point and fall in love with it all over again," she says.
Lou writes many of the band's songs, along with playing guitar and banjo. The pressure can be higher for women, she says, and she fears being told that her skills are "pretty good, for a girl." But she says that also motivates her.
For any women who play instruments or sing, Lou says she hopes they'll find the joy and love she feels when performing.