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Release date: 7.27.17
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A lot can change in a year: markets boom and bust, trends come and go, presidents get elected. In 2015, Margo Price was a country underdog just trying to keep enough gas in the tank to get to the next gig, but by the end of 2016, she was one of the genre’s most celebrated new artists and a ubiquitous presence on late night television and at major festivals around the world. She’s showing no signs of slowing down in 2017, capping an incredible summer of touring with the release of ‘Weakness,’ a surprise new four-song EP out on now Third Man Records.
Cut live at Memphis’ Sam Phillips Recording studio, ‘Weakness’ showcases Price and her band at the top of their game, full of blistering guitar, swirling pedal steel, honky-tonk rhythms, and stop-you-in-your-tracks vocals. From the Texas dancehall energy of the title track and the ethereal minor key mystery of “Just Like Love” to the high-speed psychedelic jam of “Paper Cowboy” and soulful cosmic country of “Good Luck,” the EP delivers on the promise of Price’s breakout debut and then some. It’s a declaration of artistic intent from a songwriter who’s deeply reverent of tradition even as she challenges conventions. It’s a flag planted firmly in the soil pronouncing Price a songwriter here for the long haul, one with the chops to hang with the greats she so often finds herself sharing stages with these days.
Far from overnight, Price’s recent meteoric rise is the product of more than a decade of hard work and sacrifice. While she’d long been one of East Nashville’s best-kept-secrets, she burst onto the international scene with the 2016 release of her first solo album, ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.’ The record debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and graced Best-Of lists everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to NPR Music, who called it "the hard-won arrival of an artist who feels like she's always been here.” Vulture described Price as “one of the most compelling country talents to come out of Nashville in recent memory,” while Pitchfork hailed the album as “a potential classic,” and Rolling Stone praised its “amazingly vivid songcraft.” Price solidified her next-big-thing status with stellar performances on Saturday Night Live, Colbert, Fallon, CBS This Morning, Seth Meyers, A Prairie Home Companion, and more, in addition to taking home Emerging Artist of the Year honors at the Americana Music Awards and winning The American Music Prize for the year’s best debut album. She shared stages and bills with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, and Chris Stapleton among others, and her compelling story—years of toil in the Nashville trenches, the loss of her family’s farm and the tragic death of her infant child, a brush with the law, selling her car and pawning her wedding ring to afford studio time, signing to Jack White’s Third Man Records as the label’s first country artist—was recounted in glowing profiles everywhere from the NY Times Magazine and the New Yorker to Morning Edition and Fader.
Price could have taken her moment in the spotlight as an opportunity to homogenize and chase a slicker, more polished sound built for radio and arenas, but instead, she has doubled down on the grit and the truth in her music. It’s honesty that brought her to this remarkable moment, and honesty that will continue to carry her into the future. How much higher will Margo Price’s star rise? Only time will tell, but just remember, a lot can change in a year.