5 takeaways from Margo Price’s new album “Strays”
In the summer of 2020,Margo Price and her fellow singer-songwriter husband Jeremy Ivey rented a house in South Carolina. Shortly after returning to their home near Nashville, Ivey recounted the experience in an interview for The JamBase Podcast:
“We took a trip – I guess it’s been a few weeks now – and Margo’s mom and sister babysat and we went to Charleston and found an Airbnb. We just stayed in the house and were going to work on his next album. We ate mushrooms… We had a conversation when we had mushrooms and 11 songs came out of that conversation… It’s something you can’t force and you can’t take for granted.
Several of these songs ended up on the tracklist of wanderers, Price’s new album which arrived today on Loma Vista Recordings. The record is Price’s fourth since his impressive debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter was released on Third Man Records in 2016. She followed in 2017 with her second LP, All made in the USAwhich, like its debut, was co-produced by Matt Ross-Spang and Alex Munoz and published by TMR.
Prize operated Sturgil-Simpson to produce his Loma Vista debut, 2020s This is how the rumors start. This album was recorded before the pandemic in Los Angeles with a group assembled by Simpson composed of excellent players, including guitarist Matt Sweeney, bassist Pino Palladino, drummer James Gadson and keyboardist Benmont Tench.
Price returned to California in 2021 to record the bulk of wanderers at the producer Jonathan Wilson‘s Fivestar Studios in Topanga Canyon (additional tracking was done in Nashville and LA). The 10-track album is Price continues to diversify her sonic palette, just as she did on her previous album, concocting her own blend of American psychedelic funk rock paired with raw, poetic lyrics.
Price will soon embark on the ‘Til The Wheels Fall Off Tour in support of wanderers. The tour will see Price headline more than 30 dates, including the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Webster Hall in New York, the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles and more.
Scroll down to read five top takeaways from Margo Price’s new album, wanderers.
Price didn’t need liquid courage
“Two years ago I took a mushroom trip that convinced me to quit alcohol,” Price recently shared on instagram. “Drinking and being the bad girl had become such a big part of my identity. I was afraid of being estranged from my friends and society, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has changed my life enormously and I don’t look back.
Price may have had the liquid courage of alcohol in the past, but her decision to quit drinking hasn’t stopped her from holding anything back. wanderers. Lyrically, wanderers presents often crude depictions of real-life situations, magnifying the struggles and challenges of everyday life. There’s the resilient nostalgic acceptance found in opener “Been To The Mountain,” the unapologetic lust of “Light Me Up,” the stage portrayal of rural grief in “County Road,” and the remarkable “Lydia.” , a song that became all too prescient and relevant after the Supreme Court reversed Roe Vs. Wading last summer.
Price wrote the song years before, exploring a character who is pregnant and facing tough times. Price quickly wrote all seven verses of the song, addressing aspects of health, poverty, and addiction. Price explained the genesis of “Lydia,” which features haunting strings arranged by Drew Erickson, stating:
“I wrote ‘Lydia’ in one sitting in a small hotel room after walking around the city of Vancouver one day. I was jet lagged and felt really depressed, hopeless, but instead of I took a nap I picked up the guitar and the words came together in an instant I hit record on my phone to do a demo and I kind of passed out or went into this meditative state, and boom – eight minutes later I had this song. It’s one of the only songs I’ve ever written that doesn’t have a real melody or even rhyme, but somehow it works anyway. Songs like that are rare and don’t come around often.
“He was inspired by a cacophony of things. There was a women’s health clinic and a methadone clinic with a needle exchange just outside of our site. I looked into the eyes of people I passed and thought of their stories and was truly a conduit for pain.
“The song feels like a premonition now, with women’s rights being stripped away and all the abortion bans happening. When I listen, I hear what can go through a woman’s mind when she has a tough decision to make about her body, her choices, and her future.
The Jonathan Wilson Effect
Price’s decision to work with Jonathan Wilson paid off. Wilson’s production credits since 2021 alone include Billy Strings, Dawes, Angel Olsen, Father John Misty and Erin Rae. Adding Price to the mix solidifies Wilson’s at-demand status as one of the sharpest ears of anyone making records. Wilson’s Topanga Canyon recording facility provides a scenic and serene environment – a place where artists can be artists.
Wilson’s distinctively subtle yet punchy style is felt throughout wanderers. There is continuity in the atmosphere. The expansive sounds allow for atmospheric space without ever straying too far from the heart of a song. Wilson is no stranger to twang and there are plenty through wanderers draped in sizzling synthesizers and fuzzy guitars.
Wilson can be heard on a variety of instruments – synthesizers, percussion, slide guitar, timpani drums, Moog bass – on several of the tracks on the album. Singer Oh ohone of Wilson’s frequent collaborators, harmonizes beautifully with Price on “Country Road” and the closer album “Landfill” (coincidentally, a verse in “Landfill” mentions “muscadine wine” and one of the first Wilson’s bands was called “Muscadine”).
The return of price tags
This is how the rumors started was recorded with absolute virtuoso musicians brought together by Sturgill Simpson and impeccable musicianship was evident throughout. At wanderers Price is supported by his ride-or-dies The Pricetags – drummer Dillon Napierbass player Kevin Noirguitarist Jamie Davis and keyboard player Micah Hulscher – who may not have the pedigree of Sweeney, Tench, Palladino and Gadson, but have years of chemistry and are quality players in their own right.
Wilson has captured a group so tight he can play freely and that’s exactly what comes out of wanderers. Price seems comfortable with his cohorts and the familiarity of other musicians fits well with the infusion of new and different textures and tones.
Every time you call ft. Lucius
Commuter and Tasteful Guest Contributions
In addition to Wilson and The Pricetags, a few guests appear on wanderersadding meaningful and interesting components and doing it in a way that felt forced or fanciful.
Sharon Van Etten co-wrote “Radio” with Price and the track is among the most memorable on wanderers. The song and its arrangement are a perfect example of Price’s continued evolution, with elements that sound different from almost anything she’s recorded.
Price also called on a renowned guitarist Michael Campbell for the fiery “Light Me Up”. Campbell’s electrifying tone is instantly recognizable and his playing distinctively tasteful. After Tench’s appearance on RumorsPrice has now gone back to back with albums featuring members of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius — who recently performed alongside Wilson as members of Roger Waters’ touring band — shine behind Price on “Anytime You Call.” Ivey wrote the song and plays bass and guitar on the recording. The heartfelt story of commitment in the face of difficult circumstances is enhanced by the captivating and soothing blend of voices from Wolfe and Laessig.
Moreover, green dexter co-produced and played drums on “Anytime You Call”, the singers Lily Elise and Anna Bowery can be heard on “Hell In The Heartland”, which was co-written by Price and Lawrence Rothman who also produced and engineered the track, and the strings for “Lydia” were performed by the cellist Jacob Brownviolist Zach Dellinger and violinists Andrew Bullbrook and Wynton Grant.
Time is of the essence
As mentioned above, Price’s words on wanderers are vibrant depictions of real life and shared experiences that make his music accessible and relatable. She made a name for herself with a no-bullshit attitude and the chops to back it up.
The new album builds on those past stories that paint vibrant pictures and expose sometimes harsh truths. With her fourth full-length album, Price shows an expected maturity and evolved worldview colored by the wisdom gained from getting a little older and the perspective that comes with it.
One of the lyrical themes that resurfaces repeatedly throughout wanderers is the concept of time with respect to both past, present and future. “Time Machine” encompasses all three elements, “Been To The Mountain” is an inventory of past behaviors, “Radio” considers taking time out and breaking away from the daily grind, “County Road” is a tragic nostalgic journey, ‘Anytime You Call’ considers unknown challenges, ‘Hell In The Heartland’ is a reflective life audit and ‘Landfill’ closes the album with the insightful lyrics, ‘They say ‘it takes time to become timeless.’ »
Time will tell if wanderers becomes timeless, but for now it is an important addition to Price’s body of work.