Ingrid Andress Keeps Smiling Through the Tears of ‘Good Person’ Album [Interview]
Ingrid Andress' new album Good Person opens with her asking all of the positive, optimistic people of this world what it looks like, "Seeing the world as a big happy place."
Then, she really gets into her feelings.
The "Wishful Drinking" singer ("When I'm a couple in, I get optimistic / Like you and me are realistic") and songwriter uses songs like "Yearbook," "Seeing Someone Else" and "No Choice" ("I carried us a million miles without your help / Til I barely even had the strength to save myself") as precision instruments capable of carving up a listener's heart without vanquishing the heartbeat.
Even the melodic ballad "Blue" sheds happy tears as she sings, "Thought I knew just what to call the color of the Colorado sky / But looking in your eyes is like seeing blue for the first time." Steel guitar and dulcet acoustic guitar support her vocals on this signature song from Andress' second studio album.
"So I just noticed all these couples being miserable together but they're still together."
"A lot of songwriters here in town are like, 'You're so brave for writing sad songs,'" Andress tells Taste of Country Nights during a recent studio visit. For the record, she's smiling as she says this and has laughed plenty.
"Like everyone sends me their sad songs to listen to. They're like, 'We'd love for Ingrid to be on this' and it's all, just sad. And I'm like, 'Cool. Very on brand. I am a happy person if you have any happy songs.'"
The album is — as you'll soon see — a journey told chronologically, and so committed was Andress to telling this story that she did something unthinkable in modern country record-making. Her Sam Hunt collaboration didn't make the album, but it's difficult to find fault in her explanation. The album — and this interview — ends on a high note, with the 30-year-old finding love and celebrating.
"He's not in music, so that's great," is about all she will say about her boyfriend. And: "He's very normal and consistent and I love it."
Perhaps he'll inspire a new chapter of happy songs for the "More Hearts Than Mine" hitmaker. Or maybe she'll find something else to make us cry about.
Taste of Country: Is there a song on Good Person that you almost didn't share because it's so personal?
Ingrid Andress: Yes. There's one called "No Choice" where I get emotional on it and I was like, "Alright, that obviously doesn't make the cut" (laughs). Everyone was like, "Nope, you should definitely put that on there."
You told me before that when you wrote "Wishful Drinking," you just envisioned Sam Hunt being on it. What if he'd said no?
I didn't have anyone else in mind, so I would have just put it out by myself. I'm not sure why, because there are so many people who could crush it. I just wanted his tone of voice specifically for the song.
Why is that song not on the album?
That is a great question. The album, the way that I did the track listing, is basically telling a story from start to finish of events that happened in my life. And "Wishful Drinking" was very much during that, but it doesn't really help tell the story that I'm trying to do. I love the song. It has nothing to do with if I like it or not. It's just more of that is not part of the story that I'm telling.
A number of people helped you write "Yearbook." Is it about your parents, or are someone else's parents going to have to have a stiff drink after hearing this song?
(Laughs) It's based on a lot of different relationships that I’ve observed. My parents are good, but there are some moments where I’ve been like, "Huh, I wonder why you’re still together." Most of it was me moving from the West to the South, and I didn’t realize how much of a stigma there was on divorce in the South. Like, it’s bad. So I just noticed all these couples being miserable together, but they’re like still together. So I’m like, "I know that you met in high school and that’s really sweet ..." But I feel like there is a stigma around divorce in a lot of cultures that I never understood.
Did you have to explain it to your parents? Me, if I post a meme about, "Growing up, we drank hose water" my mom will text me with, "You weren't poor!"
After I wrote it I was like, "Oof. Yeah, I should probably sit on this for a minute and see." Because it is like a good way of looking at all of it. I think my parents know at this point that I take a little bit from everything, so it’s never entirely about exactly them. But you know, they are the prominent parents in my life.
What was 18-year-old Ingrid like in high school?
She was all over the place. She thought she was into sports and going to go to college for sports. Actually, 18-year-old me was already in college. So, experimenting with alcohol and drugs. That was 18-year-old me (laughs).
Did you ever consider trying out for American Idol?
Sort of. I did a TV show called The Sing Off and I really didn't like how they ran shows because it was all so scripted. They make it seem like it's all fair, but it's very political. After I experienced that I was like, "Eh, there is really no point."
On Instagram you identify as a three-time Grammy loser. People always say they're happy to just be nominated. Is that not the case?
To me, the nomination — I wanted Megan Thee Stallion to win, and she did. I think I actually voted for her — to me, just the nomination in and of itself, people introduce you as that forever. Like, it changes your whole intro so that's why I changed mine to "Three-time Grammy loser."
Finally, here is something Keith Urban said about you during a recent interview with us. I wanted to play this for you and get your thoughts? (plays audio of Keith Urban speaking. They're on tour together currently.)
She's just got this, I dunno, this cool factor. Great songwriter. Great communicator on stage. She just really has a great way of connecting with the audience in her storytelling, songwriting etc ... It's been great having her out on this tour.
Oh Keith! That was so nice. He thinks I'm cool? What the heck? I paid him to say that for sure. That is so sweet. I feel the same way about him, everything he said. I mean, he's the exact same in my mind, so it's so wild that he thinks that I'm that. It's trippy.