Margo Price brings listeners deeper down the psychedelic rabbit hole of her critically-acclaimed new album, Strays. Out in full on October 13th, Strays II expands the original 2023 opus with nine new songs that will arrive in the form of three distinct acts, each telling its own unique story of love, grief and acceptance.
On Act I: Topanga Canyon, available now via Loma Vista Recordings, Margo Price is joined by Strays producer Jonathan Wilson, as well as new collaborators including Buck Meek of Big Thief, plus singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ny Oh. Together they dive deeper into the sacrifices it takes to find freedom, the grit it takes to make it, and the consequences that come with all of it. Recorded at Wilson’s Topanga studio during the same life-changing sessions as the rest of Strays – and partially written amidst the formative, six-day psilocybin trip that Margo Price and Jeremy Ivey took the summer prior – all three acts of Strays II further complement and intensify the resilient, resounding, and hard-rocking proclamation that Price delivered across the initial LP earlier this year. Listen to Act I: Topanga Canyon HERE.
Accompanied by a three-part short film directed by Chris Phelps and recently previewed at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, Strays II will continue to unfold throughout the coming weeks with the release of Act II: Mind Travel and Act III: Burn Whatever’s Left. All nineteen tracks will then combine into the double album’s digital release on October 13th, followed by a vinyl LP release of the nine new Strays II songs on November 10th – pre-order it here.
Of the three new additions out today, Margo Price says:
“The title track is the story of how my husband Jeremy and I met and fell in love in Nashville two decades ago. I wrote most of the words and Jeremy wrote the chords and melody. It also reflects how we have always tried to stay true to who we are as people: ‘Love and pain it comes in waves but it was quite enough in those early days, we were wild as wolves my darlin’, we were strays.’
‘Closer I Get’ (co-written with Jeremy Ivey) was originally meant to open this double album with the line, ‘Being alive costs a lot of money but so does dying.’ I’ve always thought it was unfair that the moment we are born, we immediately start racking up debt just for existing. This song was conjured from the ashes of our initial psychedelic trip – sometimes your perception and depth of field changes depending on where you’re at in life.
‘Malibu’ was written with Mike Campbell in his Malibu home after Jeremy and I had driven through the canyon fleeing a forest fire to get my guitar from our Airbnb. I had the start of the song and brought it to him looking to finish it out. I wanted to write something with a country funk/Bobbie Gentry feel, a good long rambling story about the minutiae of the day, like ‘Ode to Billy Joe.’ Mike added the long ‘California’ yodel and the bridge and was exactly what the song needed. My favorite line is ‘love and grief are a package deal, the more you have, the more you feel.’”
Like Strays and its many “stoic pearls of wisdom” (Pitchfork), Strays II reveals more of what makes Margo Price so “unstoppable, unsinkable, uninhibited” (The New York Times). Surmounting loss, trauma, substance abuse, demons of self-worth and more, the songs of Strays have cemented her place as a singular storyteller, with so much to say but nothing to prove. Since the album’s release, Price has earned nominations for Artist of The Year, Album of The Year and Song of The Year (“Change of Heart”) at the upcoming Americana Honors & Awards, tying for the most nominations of any single artist in 2023.