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September 27th, 2023

lindsey stirling artemis spotlight pageCourtesy photoELLY GRIMM • Leader &Times


A few days ago I was looking for some music on YouTube to help me concentrate as I was working on some other stories and much to my surprise, one of the options in the “Suggestions” tab on the site was the newest album “Artemis” from violinist Lindsey Stirling, who I’ve been a fan of for a long time. So I clicked on the playlist to see if this album would be as good as the other ones I’ve heard and ultimately, I ended up not being disappointed.

“Artemis”is a soundtrack of sorts for an overarching story of a fight against dark forces and the emergence to the other side and into the light, which is meant to represent some hardships Stirling has faced in her life, most recently the loss of her father and best friend. The album’s songs are a way to show how even when things seem to be at their darkest, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The first thing I have to give praise to is Stirling herself, because her violin skills are crazy amazing and she is incredibly talented. One of the things I liked about this album so much is how she was able to make each song have its own story, so to speak, and each song was able to put a picture in my head. I would say my favorite song on the album was “Masquerade” – the violin playing

is absolutely amazing and combined with a Tango-esque vibe, I felt I was actually at a masquerade party seeing many others dancing around a ballroom. Every other song on the album is just as good and very creative. Another thing that’s rather hard to not notice is how many different sounds Stirling can produce from just one violin – there are times she leans toward softer and more classical playing and there are times where she brings forth harsher and more rock-like tones, all of which she does with what seems like absolute ease. Another song I particularly liked from the album was “Foreverglow,” and we actually get to hear Stirling sing (which she doesn’t do much of on her past albums), and she has a very nice tone, very soft and sweet but also somewhat dark and full of soul – it fits the overall song perfectly.

I also really liked the different partnerships Stirling was able to put together with this album, particularly with Evanescence’s Amy Lee (I know, I’m showing my age here), and all of the collaborations sound great. Her collaboration with Elle King for the album’s final song was also great and they worked really well together. I can’t wait to see who she’ll pair up with for her next album.

I also really liked all of the music videos that accompanied some of

the songs, I felt they were very creatively done and while watching the playlist, it’s almost like watching a short film. I always love albums that are put together in such a way that they form a story, it just makes the experience of listening to the album that much better. Stirling has had a creative eye for all of her other music videos (see her “Hold My Heart” and “Shatter Me Videos” for proof of that) and I love how she has a vision for how she wants her songs to look and sound, and I love how she actually seems to have some independence with that, unlike what you hear with some other modern artists and companies, whose goals seem to get out a music video out as quickly as possible without actually taking the time to make sure there’s a proper vision for it so it ultimately turns out to be a good music video people will actually enjoy watching.

Another thing I noticed was how perfectly timed the album was, which I know sounds somewhat odd, but it’s true. There are some albums I’ve listened to that feel like they’re one or two songs too long, but this album manages to tell a full story with music and everything else in just less than an hour, and it’s just the right amount of time for “Artemis.” I’ve noticed that about a couple of Stirling’s past other albums and I feel like she knows what she wants to do

and how long everything should last so people will stay hooked in and ultimately not be bored by the time the album finishes, which is great.

The only thing about this album I really have a complaint about is there are a few songs where the music accompanying Stirling is far too loud and drowns out Stirling’s violin playing. One example of this was her song with Amy Lee called “Love Goes On and On” – the backing music is far too much and I could barely hear Stirling’s playing or Lee’s singing, which is especially an issue (to me, at least) because Lee’s got such a powerful voice and she deserves to be heard. Hopefully on the next album the backing music won’t be quite so much and listeners will be able to hear Stirling more, because the artist whose face is on the album deserves to be the one who’s heard, not some over-loud backing music.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to the album and I’m glad it popped up in the “Suggestions” tab on YouTube, and I’d give it a B-plus. Stirling’s violin skills remain awesome as ever and the collabo- rations on the album are great. If you’re a fan of Stirling’s past work, you will probably enjoy listening to “Artemis.”