meta-scriptMargo Price Finds Freedom On New Album 'Strays' & Memoir: "I've Never Felt This Happy" |
Margo Price
Margo Price

Photo: Alysse Gafkjen


Margo Price Finds Freedom On New Album 'Strays' & Memoir: "I've Never Felt This Happy"

On her new album 'Strays' and memoir 'Maybe We Can Make It,' singer/songwriter Margo Price dug deep, but offered herself a bit of grace. The releases meditate on forgiveness, self-image and substance abuse —all with a heaping helping of rock and humor.

GRAMMYs/Jan 13, 2023 - 05:32 pm

Margo Price is beaming with excitement. In the early weeks of 2023, the outspoken songwriter finally has the chance to tour the world again with her band, and is embracing the opportunity to continue to better herself.

"I have never felt this happy, this energetic, this full of life," Price tells about the joy she’s felt since she quit drinking two years ago. "It's almost just like waking up all over again and getting to try everything for the first time. I thought it was going to be really scary, but it's just been exciting."

The past few years have played a major role in Price's newfound understanding and growth. In her memoir Maybe We Can Make It, which was released last fall, Price chronicles the highs and lows of her musical journey, focusing on themes of loyalty, loss, grief, and forgiveness. "I really was peering inside," Price recalls. "I was able to give myself compassion, grace, and not be so full of shame really with a lot of the mistakes I've made."

A psychedelic, six-day writing session in the summer of 2020 provided Price with the opportunity for further reflection, and informed her decision to stop drinking. The result is Strays, a Jonathan Wilson-produced album out Jan. 13. The rock-leaning record features many of the same themes as her memoir, and explores topics such as substance abuse, self-image, abortion rights, and orgasms. In her examination of loss, lies and failure, Price learned how to let go of trauma — and Strays captures that newfound freedom.

She’s grown other projects, including the podcast "Runaway Horses," which features interviews with  Price's music heroes such as Emmylou Harris and Bob Weir. "I truly enjoyed it just as a music fan myself, to be able to talk about some of the different choices that can be made in music and to be able to talk with people who think outside of the box," she says. caught up with the singer/songwriter to discuss how her new album, memoir and other projects have allowed her to grow and deepen her understanding of self.

With each project, it seems like you've gotten much more confident in expressing yourself and talking about personal issues more openly. Why did you feel it was the time to write a memoir?  

I have always dreamed of being an author. I'm an avid reader. I think that I owe a lot to literature and its influence on my music and my work in general, so it just felt like a really natural progression for me. I've always enjoyed writing autobiographical songs. As they say, "you write what you know."

When I found myself pregnant with my daughter Ramona and I had come off the road after everything kind of exploded after signing with Third Man and doing the late-night TV circuit and being nominated for a GRAMMY and all those things, I needed somewhere to put all that energy. It felt really natural, and I really got into the flow of writing. I would wake up and take my son to school, and then I would go to a coffee shop, and I would write for about five to six hours a day. After I had my daughter, I got back to touring and being on the road for a while, and so it kind of sat there. And then when the pandemic hit, well, that seemed like as good a time as any to finish the memoir.

It must have been interesting not having a limit of a song’s length. 

Oh, for sure. I feel like it always takes me a lot of words to get around to the point. So yeah, it felt like just a big release. As cliche as it sounds, I have figured out so much about myself, about my personality through going back and reading the first draft of the book. Once I started the editing process, I was going pretty deep into my psyche and really evaluating my life choices, reframing a lot of things in my mind.

I keep joking that writing the book was kind of some sick form of therapy. We're all just humans, and we're all just trying to figure this experience out. I think that vulnerability is really a strength that not a lot of people know how to cultivate. For years, I was scared to go into a lot of those vulnerable places. I was afraid of being judged. It was really eye-opening.

How did the experience writing the memoir most impact the writing of the new album? 

It brought up so many things from my past. I was definitely in a very reflective mind state. I think there was a lot of what I was writing in the memoir that did end up coming through in some of the songs. I think a lot of people will be connecting the dots between the two, because I was working on both of them [at the same time]. I was working on the book for about four and a half years, and I've been working on this album for about two and a half, three years. They definitely did influence each other.

Thematically, the album's songs are largely about fighting for something, whether that's survival, being heard, fighting your demons, or being loved. What about that truthful yet hopeful theme appealed to you? 

This life is about survival and about trying to find your way. While writing the album, I had several psychedelic experiences that were really spiritual. I think that definitely also influenced my writing over this time period, and I wanted to just continue to unapologetically be myself. I think that we are in just such troubled times in the world.

Always with my art, but especially on this last album, it is about finding your peace and finding your place in the world. One of the ways that I've kind of moved through my trauma and through difficult times in my life is being able to reflect upon it in my art and hopefully also connect with people. That's one of the biggest things that keeps me doing it, is being able to connect with others and share the pain and misery and beauty of life.

You've said that you felt an urgency to be creative and that you had a moral obligation to pursue it, even if it wasn't the easy popular path. Why was that an important realization? 

I think when you break through and you are in a genre and labeled as one thing, many times fans come to expect that from you. There's been people that I have greatly admired who have the ability to reinvent themselves and to evolve and to grow.  I didn't want to fall into the trap of making the same albums and just staying in one small lane to be popular.

I wanted to be able to explore. Before I made Midwest Farmer's Daughter, I had tried on many different genres. I had been in many different bands and projects. I had studied folk music and even classical mezzo Italian soprano style singing. There were a lot of things that I've been influenced by, so I just wanted to be able to touch on any of those things and not feel like I had to get stuck.

On album opener "Been to the Mountain," you examine this idea of reaching a free and stray-like state. What about strays and that free state do you find appealing? 

Many times, our lives feel like they're written out and we're just on autopilot. During the pandemic and just during the whole time of lockdown, I was just reevaluating a lot of the things that I had been doing day to day, and things that I thought were rebellion or things that I thought were making me happy. And I realized that a lot of them weren't.   

A lot of it was due to my experiences that I've had with psychedelics and psilocybin mushrooms. I wanted the whole album to feel like a psychedelic trip, or it could just be an entire life that happens before your eyes. There's going to be happiness, and there's going to be joy, and there's going to be pain and difficult things.

You’ve mentioned wanting the album to feel more like an epic listening experience rather than a typical album listening experience. 

Yeah. Jonathan Wilson, the producer, really helped steer the ship and guide us into this new sonic territory. My band and I have been together for a really, really long time. Some of us for over a decade. I think when people come to our live show, they're always really blown away by the experience. That's difficult to capture in the studio. I think in the past I've been rushed on projects either because I did not have the budget, or I didn't have the time. I just had a burning in me to get the next thing out. With this project, it seemed like I had nothing but time, and I just wanted to get it right.  

We went out to South Carolina. We took a writing retreat, and then we did pre-production demos, just the band and I in the studio. I sent those along to a bunch of different producers, and then ended up talking to so many different producers, but I knew Jonathan was the one. So, we went out, and the band and I got an Airbnb together. We took a lot of psychedelics and hung out there and worked on the record for a long time. And then we did more sessions in Nashville at a place called Creative Workshop Studios and another place in Berry Hill. I just kept writing and writing and writing more songs.

Honestly, I had enough for a double album. I have about three unreleased albums that I'm working on right now. I have a psychedelic gospel record that I recorded right after All American Made. I have Strays Part Two, and then I have this other project that I was working on during the pandemic at the Cash Cabin with John Carter Cash. We have so much material right now, so many things that we've been working on.  

The new songs tackle subjects that people often have a hard time talking about. For example, you reflect on giving up alcohol a couple years ago and how that's freed you to discover yourself, your self-worth, and better yourself. 

There is such a misconception about drinking, at least this is how I used to feel. It was framed in my mind that drinking alcohol and living hard, that was rebellion. But honestly, once you strip all of that away, all of that numbing, I've been feeling my feelings. I know that sounds a little woo-woo. I have truly been able to look at my life, to look at my experiences, my flaws in a clearer light. When I was numbing all the time with booze, there's just a kind of facade that you're living in. I'm not saying that everybody is using alcohol that way, but I definitely was.

At times, my alcohol use was fine. It was healthy, and it was under control, and it was normal. But there is that gray area in drinking that I think so many people deal with. So many people don't want to talk about it because of the way that this country and this society has framed it where it's like, "Okay, there's people who are alcoholics and they are flawed, and then there's other people that are just normal drinkers." That is not true. If you actually go and do the studies and do the research, alcoholism, there's no genetic thing there that says that you have a gene that makes you an alcoholic.

There's just so much stigma around quitting. Truthfully, I had a psychedelic journey that led me to the decision that I could quit drinking, and it didn't have to be the way that it's been in our society.  This January will be two years for me. I have never felt this happy, this energetic, this full of life. It's almost just like waking up all over again and getting to try everything for the first time. I thought it was going to be really scary, but it's just been exciting. I can't wait to see where the next few years take me.

The album features several collaborations, including "Light Me Up" with Mike Campbell. Why did you feel he would fit this song? 

He’s one of the best guitar players that are out there and still playing today. We had an incredible time doing some writing sessions with Mike. I grew up on the Heartbreakers. I think it's some of the best American songwriting that there is with the writing that Tom Petty and Mike Campbell achieved.

He did pretty much one take on that solo for "Light Me Up," and it was exactly what it needed to be. Mike has just really taught us so much about writing and recording and performing and just what it means to be in a band and to play music for a living.

The song "Lydia" has powerful, stream of conscious lyrics. Why did that format seem important to capture the sentiment in the song? 

That was one of those songs that really felt like it came to me from somewhere else. It was just one of those spiritual moments that keeps me coming back to songwriting.

The lyrics for "Lydia" came to me when I was in a little bit of a dark place that day. I was really kind of just feeling for people who live below the poverty line and who find themselves in bad situations. It was a reflection of a lot of places I'd seen touring, a lot of the faces that I'd seen outside of this Methadone Clinic in Vancouver.

I wrote that song, and I kind of sat on it for a really long time because I didn't feel that it was fitting to record for, say, Rumors. I just didn't feel like it fit on the album. I'm glad that I finally got it down. I just really loved the strings that Jonathan and Drew [Erickson] added. It just made the whole thing come together.

Last year you became the first female artist on the board of the Farm Aid organization. What does it mean to add your voice to that organization? 

Becoming the first female musician to be on the board of Farm Aid is my most precious achievement so far. It means a lot to my family. It's really something to be named next to Willie Nelson and Neil Young. I've admired their songwriting my whole life, and it just gets me choked up just thinking about it. My entire life, I had this vendetta that I wanted to help make things right for not only my family and the farm that they lost, but just for farmers all over America.

I'm still trying to figure out how I can do more, because I think that the climate crisis and the climate change that we are facing, Farm Aid has been thinking about all of these things for a long time. They are really set up to help make food justice for everyone. It affects us all. If we can figure out how to create more farms and how to preserve the family farms that we have and all this regenerative farming, there's so many things out there. It’s definitely my crowning achievement.

Your husband Jeremy has been an important part of your recent songwriting, and your psychedelic trip to South Carolina really helped you. What did it mean to be able to share that experience with him? 

Well, Jeremy, he's been in my life for 19 years. We truly have a way of writing together that is just on a deeper level than co-writes that I could have with other people, because he knows everything that I've been through. He's able to really write from my perspective. I also think that he's just one of the best writers of our time. He's going to be one of those people who is discovered later. He put out a great record [last] year, and it just really flew under the radar. I see him as an Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan-like writer. He's my secret weapon. I really am grateful that I get to work with him.

As I mentioned in my memoir, we've definitely had our share of troubles after losing a child and just being in the music business for a couple decades. I'm happy that we get to be together and raise kids and make music. It's a bit of a fairytale.  

You capture that sentiment in "Anytime You Call" quite well. 

We were having a really challenging time. We were in Santa Fe when he wrote that song. We were a hold up there writing some songs, and I was working on my memoir. When I came into the room, he played that song for me. I just started bawling.. I had to add it to the album, because it had such a Kinks’ "Strangers" kind of feel to it. I've always loved Lucius and their harmonies, and especially their rendition of that song. I asked them to put their magic touch on it, and it just made the whole thing come alive.

What are you most looking forward to this year? 

I am looking forward to so much this year. I’m going on my first headlining tour since 2018. I didn't know when I did my last headlining tour that I was going to get pregnant and then that the pandemic was going to hit, so I feel like I have been waiting for this for five years. The band and I are sounding better than ever and getting out and doing these headlining shows has just been such a release.

I've also been working on a film with a friend of mine. His name is Joshua Weinstein. I've got a lot of songs that I've been writing. I'm ready to get back into the studio again here and start recording the next album.

Anoushka Shankar Wrote A Composition Standing Up For Women & Girls. 10 Years Later, She Questions How Far We've Come.

Beyonce 2023 GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Beyoncé at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Beyoncé's Heartfelt Speech For Her Record-Breaking Win In 2023

Relive the night Beyoncé received a gramophone for Best Dance/Electronic Album for 'RENAISSANCE' at the 2023 GRAMMYS — the award that made her the most decorated musician in GRAMMY history.

GRAMMYs/Feb 2, 2024 - 05:12 pm

Six years after her last solo studio album, Beyoncé returned to the music industry with a bang thanks to RENAISSANCE. In homage to her late Uncle Johnny, she created a work of art inspired by the sounds of disco and house that wasn't just culturally impactful — it was history-making.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, RENAISSANCE won Best Dance/Electronic Album. Marking Beyoncé's 32nd golden gramophone, the win gave the superstar the record for most gramophones won by an individual act.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the historic moment Queen Bey took the stage to accept her record-breaking GRAMMY at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"Thank you so much. I'm trying not to be too emotional," Beyoncé said at the start of her acceptance speech. "I'm just trying to receive this night."

With a deep breath, she began to list her praises that included God, her family, and the Recording Academy for their continued support throughout her career. 

"I'd like to thank my Uncle Johnny, who is not here, but he's here in spirit," Beyoncé proclaimed. "I'd like to thank the queer community for your love and inventing this genre."

Watch the video above for Beyoncé's full speech for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Check back to for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

Tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8-11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

A Timeline Of Beyoncé's GRAMMY Moments, From Her First Win With Destiny's Child to Making History With 'Renaissance'

Lizzo GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Lizzo at the 2023 GRAMMYs

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy


GRAMMY Rewind: Lizzo Thanks Prince For His Influence After "About Damn Time" Wins Record Of The Year In 2023

Watch Lizzo describe how Prince’s empowering sound led her to “dedicate my life to positive music” during her Record Of The Year acceptance speech for “About Damn Time” at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Jan 19, 2024 - 06:00 pm

Since the start of her career, four-time GRAMMY winner Lizzo has been making music that radiates positive energy. Her Record Of The Year win for "About Damn Time" at the 2023 GRAMMYs proved that being true to yourself and kind to one another always wins.

Travel back to revisit the moment Lizzo won her award in the coveted category in this episode of GRAMMY Rewind. 

"Um, huh?" Lizzo exclaimed at the start of her acceptance speech. "Let me tell you something. Me and Adele are having a good time, just enjoying ourselves and rooting for our friends. So, this is an amazing night. This is so unexpected."

Lizzo kicked off her GRAMMY acceptance speech by acknowledging Prince's influence on her sound. "When we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music," she said. "This was at a time when positive music and feel-good music wasn't mainstream at that point and I felt very misunderstood. I felt on the outside looking in. But I stayed true to myself because I wanted to make the world a better place so I had to be that change."

As tracks like "Good as Hell" and "Truth Hurts" scaled the charts, she noticed more body positivity and self-love anthems from other artists. "I'm just so proud to be a part of it," she cheered.

Most importantly, Lizzo credited staying true to herself despite the pushback for her win. "I promise that you will attract people in your life who believe in you and support you," she said in front of a tearful audience that included Beyoncé and Taylor Swift in standing ovation, before giving a shout-out to her team, family, partner and producers on the record, Blake Slatkin and Ricky Reed

Watch the video above for Lizzo's complete acceptance speech for Record Of The Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Check back to for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind, and be sure to tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8-11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

10 Must-See Moments From The 2023 GRAMMYs

Harry Styles AOTY GRAMMY Rewind Hero
Harry Styles at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Mazur


GRAMMY Rewind: Harry Styles Celebrates His Fellow Nominees (And His Biggest Fan) After Album Of The Year Win In 2023

Revisit the moment Harry Styles accepted the most coveted award of the evening for 'Harry's House' and offered a heartfelt nod to his competitors — Beyoncé, Adele, Lizzo, Coldplay and more.

GRAMMYs/Jan 5, 2024 - 06:00 pm

After a wildly successful debut and sophomore record, you'd think it was impossible for Harry Styles to top himself. Yet, his third album, Harry's House, proved to be his most prolific yet.

The critically acclaimed project first birthed Styles' record-breaking, chart-topping single, "As It Was," then landed three more top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Late Night Talking," "Music for a Sushi Restaurant" and "Matilda." The album and "As It Was" scored Styles six nominations at the 2023 GRAMMYs — and helped the star top off his massive Harry's House era with an Album Of The Year win.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit Styles' big moment from last year's ceremony, which was made even more special by his superfan, Reina Lafantaisie. Host Trevor Noah (who will return as emcee for the 2024 GRAMMYs) handed the mic to Lafantaisie to announce Styles as the winner, and the two shared a celebratory hug before Styles took the mic.

"I've been so, so inspired by every artist in this category," said Styles, who was up against other industry titans like Beyoncé, Adele, Lizzo and Coldplay. "On nights like tonight, it's important for us to remember that there is no such thing as 'best' in music. I don't think any of us sit in the studio, making decisions based on what will get us [an award]."

Watch the video above to see Harry Styles' complete acceptance speech alongside his collaborators Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson. Check back to for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind, and be sure to tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8 -11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

Here Are The Album Of The Year Nominees At The 2024 GRAMMYs

Holly Humberstone performs during Lollapalooza 2023

Photo: Jim Mosenfelder/Getty Images


New Music Friday: Listen To New Music From TXT, Margo Price, REZZMAU5 & More

Listen to these fresh tracks and collaborations from Tomorrow x Together, the Menzingers, the Libertines and others.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:12 pm

As October unfolds, influential artists from across the globe continue to share new, dynamic sounds.

Friday, Oct. 13 is turning out to be anything but scary, with highly anticipated releases from megastars, newcomers and fan favorites. Among the day's biggest releases are Bad Bunny’s Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Mañana, Offset's Set It Off,  a new EP from Ringo Starr, Troye Sivan's first album in five years, and a new EP rising K-pop stars IVE.

Elsewhere, K-pop group TXT explore the melodramatic moments of teenagehood on their new album, while pop singer/songwriter Holly Humberstone does some self-exploration on her debut album. 

This Friday, dive into seven new releases and consider adding these tracks into your monthly musical rotation.

TXT - The Name Chapter: FreeFall

K-pop group TOMORROW X TOGETHER, explore the depths of teen angst in their latest chapter LP, The Name Chapter: FreeFall. Following collaborations with Anitta and the Jonas Brothers, TXT have returned with a nine track album that navigates away from youthful optimism and dives into the harsh reality of adolescence.

One of TXT's Chapter series of releases, this latest release follows January's The Name Chapter: Temptation. "Our music contains this one story of growth and so we basically talk about the process of growth," member TAEHYUN told earlier this year. 

Tracks like "Growing Pain" and "Chasing That Feeling," guide listeners through the journey of growth, through melodic lyrics and punk-rock percussion. TXT member BEOMGYU showcases his own producing skills in the R&B, pop song, "Blue Spring." Through creative storytelling and embracing emotional vulnerability, this album isn’t one to miss. 

The Menzingers - Some Of It Was True

Four years after their last release, Pennsylvania punk outfit the Menzingers dropped their latest Some Of It Was True. The group's seventh album is a nostalgic journey about growing up and longing for a certain someone.

"I'm all alone in Dublin, searching for something / Wishing you were here with me," they sing in "Along in Dublin."

While tracks like "I Didn’t Miss You (Until You Were Gone)" stay true to the group's traditional indie punk feel, songs like "Ultraviolet" explore the Mezingers' calmer, Springsteen-esque sensibility. Some Of It Was True shows the band’s evolution and versatility, as they transition from self-reflective songs to addressing maturer, universal issues.

Holly Humberstone - Paint My Bedroom Black

After opening for Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour tour and being awarded BRIT’s 2022 Rising Star, Holly Humberstone offers her debut record, Paint My Bedroom Black. The highly personal album explores themes of uncertainty and confusion, unpacking the array of emotions she experienced while on the road.

Each track is an odyssey of relatable Gen-Z experiences; songs like "Antichrist" and "Lauren" that talk about  experiencing conflicts in relationships, but with total honesty. Tracks such as "Room Service" employ folksy instrumentals and a mellow beats that pay homage to her family and friends. 

Humberstone's authenticity in lyrically discussing themes like love, friendship and identity make her debut  a relatable self-reflective anthem. 

REZZMAU5 - "Infraliminal" 

Spend your Friday night head-bopping to another powerful electronic collaboration from REZZ and deadmau5. Their latest song, "Infraliminal,"remixes deadmau5’s "Superliminal" by adding a deeper bass and creating new energetic arrangements.

"A lil fact - the original "superliminal" by deadmau5 is one of the songs which inspired me to create music. Fast forward to now, we have a project together & are releasing a version (technically two versions, you’ll see) of what I consider one of my favorite tracks by Joel ever," REZZ shared in an X post. 

The Libertines - "Run, Run, Run"

UK rock band the Libertines are back with their latest single, "Run, Run, Run," an energetic tale about running from the past and enjoying the present.

The quartet recently announced their new album All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade, which will drop in March 2024. The album will feature 11 songs, produced by GRAMMY-nominated Dimitri Tikovoï. "Run, Run, Run" and the forthcoming album are the Libertines' first projects since their 2015 album Anthems for Doomed Youth. The group celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2022.

Margo Price - Strays II

Nashville singer/songwriter Margo Price continues unveiling authentic tracks in Strays II, which takes listeners through her tales of trauma, loss and self journeys in three acts: "Topanga Canyon," "Mind Travel" and "Burn Whatever’s Left." Strays II focuses on life’s everchanging tapestry, marking her a true artist in storytelling.

The album features "Malibu," a collaboration with GRAMMY-nominated artists Big Thief's Buck Meek and Jonathan Wilson. The song brings listeners to the scenic West Coast, as Price serenely sings about chasing a dream all to end up stranded in the titular. 

On the other hand, the title track has more of an upbeat tempo with catchy guitar riffs that seem to echo the sounds of the '90s. This song paints a story on her early moments with husband Jeremy Ivey. 

How To Watch The 2024 GRAMMYs Live: GRAMMY Nominations Announcement, Air Date, Red Carpet, Streaming Channel & More