Ingrid Michaelson on The Morning Mix

Singer songwriter Ingrid Michaelson’s newest album ‘Lights Out’ was released April  15, and it was the result of a dark time in her life that she made brighter. In the last year, both Michaelson and her parents fell ill. “When you’re sick, and people that you love are sick, nothing else really matters but trying to feel better again.” “To me there are a lot of light and dark beams — literally saying the word light in the record — to me it’s a reminder that we are here for but a moment and we should strive to the best that we can be while we’re here.”

Michaelson’s open attitude can be heard in her music when she decided to change up the lyrics of her song “Girls Chase Boys” to make it less “hetero-normative.” The early demo, she said, felt “exclusive to hetero-sexuals.” “I felt like it was like a closed circuit, and I didn’t like that feeling, so I added this little tagline ‘girls chase girls and boys chase boys’ which I thought was a nod to the community, and it really opened up the song in a really nice way.” Michaelson said some don’t even catch the line before making comments, but the inclusion is there.

The accompanying music video, which too involves gender bending subjects, received reaction from both supporters and critics. Michaelson says the negative comments, sometimes hurtful, can spring interesting dialogue among fans, both accepting of homosexuality and not.

As for keeping the appeal to young listeners which she has had for over a decade, Michaelson said how she does it is a mystery. “I’m not trying to stay 18 in my writing,” but people these days, she says, are listening to a wider variety of music.

Michaelson then references a tweet saying “I don’t know who is more excited to see [Michaelson], me or my 53 year old mom.” Kids will come to the shows with their parents, Michaelson says, and while most of the audience is aged 18 to 30, she’s enjoys seeing both ends of the spectrum at her shows.

Ingrid Michaelson will be performing May 25 at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.