With a prescient and plaintive new single called “Lydia,” Margo Price shares her latest preview of Strays.

Out January 13th, the forthcoming album marks the loudest, lushest and most liberating music to date for the Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and published author, but “Lydia” serves as one of the LP’s sobering respites.

Recorded in 2021 and written years before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the somber and string-laden story sees Price abandon traditional song structure in favour of a stream-of-consciousness character study, illustrating the internal strife and self-doubt of a struggling woman who finds herself pregnant and unable to raise a child. Vivid images of methadone clinics, bleeding mascara and used needles fill the seven verses alongside references to gentrification, health insurance issues, and the impending pressure of a life-altering decision.

Watch Margo Price perform a stunning live rendition of the song at Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church, backed by a string quartet of Chauntee Ross, Nicole Neely, Kristin Weber and leader Larissa Maestro, Americana Awards’ 2022 Instrumentalist of The Year: https://i.margoprice.net/LydiaVid

“I wrote ‘Lydia’ in one sitting in a tiny hotel room after walking around the city of Vancouver one day. I was jet lagged and feeling really depressed, hopeless, but instead of taking a nap, I picked up the guitar and the words just flowed out all in one quick moment. I hit record on my phone to make a demo and sort of blacked 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 any real melody or even rhyme, but somehow it still works. Songs like that are rare and don’t come often.

It was inspired by a cacophony of things. There was a women’s health clinic and a methadone clinic with a needle exchange right outside of our venue. I was looking into the eyes of the people I passed and thinking about their stories and really being a conduit for pain.

The song feels like a premonition now, with women’s rights being stripped and all the abortion bans happening. When I listen back, I hear what might go through a woman’s mind when she has a difficult decision to make about her body, her choices and her future.”

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