The new out­law

Exclaim! - - FOOD/ DRINK - By Bran­don Choghri

MARGO PRICE IS CRUIS­ING AROUND the west side of Nashville in her pickup truck when she an­swers my call. Her new al­bum, All Amer­i­can Made, was writ­ten on the road, from tour buses to snowed-in ho­tel rooms. It takes the in­ti­mate in­tro­spec­tion of her de­but and flips it — re­flect­ing on ev­ery­thing from the wage gap to nu­clear war.

“[ Mid­west Farmer’s Daugh­ter] was a con­cept record, so all the songs were about my life and my story, and once I kind of ex­plored that, you start to look at the world around you and then pull from there,” Price says. “So, I kind of de­scribe it as all the songs are like post­cards from dif­fer­ent towns in Amer­ica.”

Price’s sopho­more record doesn’t just ex­plore new lyri­cal ter­ri­tory, it’s full of sonic ex­per­i­men­ta­tion too, pulling from folk-rock, gospel and soul in a con­scious ef­fort to not get caught up in coun­try con­ven­tion­al­ism.

“I didn’t want to limit my­self to just mak­ing a tra­di­tional-sound­ing coun­try record again. I wanted to be able to in­cor­po­rate dif­fer­ent top­ics, dif­fer­ent sounds and in­stru­ments. I wanted to keep a coun­try thread weav­ing through­out it, but I’ve had a lot of love for many dif­fer­ent types of mu­sic for a long time.”

That doesn’t mean All Amer­i­can Made is lack­ing in out­law authen­tic­ity. Cho­ruses like “a lit­tle pain never hurt any­one” are coun­try to the core, but de­void of cliché com­ing from Price’s pen­e­trat­ing voice. She also en­lists her new friend and O.G. out­law Wil­lie Nel­son to duet with her on “Learn­ing to Lose,” an ex­pe­ri­ence she still can’t be­lieve ac­tu­ally hap­pened.

“He went through it prob­a­bly four or five times and you could tell he re­ally cared about get­ting ev­ery­thing right and mak­ing it feel nat­u­ral. It was so cool to go back later and then lis­ten to all the dif­fer­ent gui­tar so­los he did. It was so hard to pick just one.”

The song “Pay Gap” is a lot more fun than you might ex­pect from a tune with a re­frain of “pay gap, pay gap, rip­ping my dol­lars in half.” Price ex­plains that she loves “writ­ing some­thing in a ma­jor key and singing some­thing very sweetly” even when the lyrics don’t quite match up. “It’s nice to just play it with this kind of blasé at­ti­tude, like, I’m just stat­ing the facts and you can hate me for it if you want, but it’s just the truth.”

The al­bum’s epony­mous closer is a bold political mus­ing that fea­tures pres­i­den­tial speeches crack­ling away through dis­tant static. Price has been a scathing critic of the Trump ad­min­is­tra- tion, but the song was ac­tu­ally writ­ten while Obama was pres­i­dent — some­thing she thinks would “shock the hell” out of peo­ple.

“It’s been a tu­mul­tuous time for the U.S. with ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing on here now, so it felt nice to have some­thing to sing that was kind of cathar­tic and can feel very rel­e­vant even though it was writ­ten a while ago.”

Even though All Amer­i­can Made is full of thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary, Price does have one su­per­sed­ing take­away for lis­ten­ers: “That ev­ery­one in Amer­ica is equal… it’s a dream I think peo­ple have had for a long time about this place.”

“I’m just stat­ing the facts and you can hate me for it if you want.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.