Today, Nashville-based artist Chelsea Lovitt releases her brand new video, “State Of Denial.” Directed by Joshua Shoemaker (Marcus King Band, Nicole Atkins, Vanessa Carlton, and more), the video features Lovitt driving around Nashville delivering flowers. “I had a flower delivery gig on Valentine’s Day last year and figured it would be an appropriate setting to shoot a video for ‘State Of Denial’ in my van, as it’s a song about being apart and in love and folks always on the road,” she explains. “I envisioned a sad flower delivery girl making other people happy, apart from her lover and that was a true story. I didn’t care because I was about to sell my van and open for Wayne Hancock the next day, and had a record release coming up.” Little did she know, a few weeks later, the world completely shut down—her plans, like so many others’, canceled.
The track is featured on her latest album, You Had Your Cake, So Lie In It. “I wrote this song on a harmonica in a field in Delaware the month before going in the studio,” Lovitt recalls of “State Of Denial.” “It was five in the morning and I’d been listening to Dylan. I had ambitions and ideas for this record to be influenced by Blonde on Blonde of course, and since we were doing it on tape and in Nashville I’d been listening to that and Nashville Skyline obsessively. I wrote this when I was in love, after not ever really being in it. It examines psychological issues that maybe stem from being from Mississippi because for some reason we’re prone to be emotional hoarders and it’s hard to ‘sift through that pile’ when it comes to letting go and living in the moment or especially being in love,” she continues.
“The song reflects on what wasn’t love and what is and why sometimes it’s a bittersweet ‘can’t be,’ because distance and/or your own neuroses get in the way. And it’s kind of like the predicament we have on Valentine’s this year when we have to socially distance ourselves and a lot of lovers can’t be together. And maybe this year has been a soul-distancing that folks like me have actually needed to figure out and ‘sift through’ our own internal crap and be better people,” she explains. “When else could we have done that in this fast-paced world? It’s also been a test of what it means to really love somebody, especially when you can’t physically be with them.”
For Lovitt, the multifaceted music of the South is her inspiration. She is immersed in the traditions of country, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, and bluegrass, and her bona fides on guitar and fiddle match her vocal chops, which go from pure honky-tonk to rockabilly to folk and rock ‘n’ roll. Her music is complex, full of contradictions, honoring the mystery of the Southern tradition. Those contradictions drive Lovitt’s debut album You Had Your Cake, So Lie in It, recorded in Nashville with producer Andrija Tokic at his analog wonderland The Bomb Shelter. It’s an inspired collection of various, mostly Southern musical approaches. It’s also, in subtle and personal ways, a political record that questions America’s obsession with material wealth, toxic relationships between men and women, and explores the way the Trump era corroded values and isolated human beings. You Had Your Cake, So Lie in It is also about tradition and family, and the vagaries of human identity.