This strong contender for record of the year has all the makings of becoming a favorite in your record collection.
Produced by longtime friend Sturgill Simpson (co-produced by Margo and David Ferguson), the LP marks Price’s debut for Loma Vista Recordings, and whether she’s singing of motherhood or the mythologies of stardom, Nashville gentrification or the national healthcare crisis, relationships or growing pains, she’s crafted a collection of music that invites people to listen closer than ever before. That’s How Rumors Get Started was mainly cut in under a week at East West in Los Angeles, in the same small room where Pet Sounds and Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 were recorded.
Tracking occurred over several days while she was pregnant with daughter Ramona. “They’re both a creation process,” she says. “And I was being really good to my body and my mind during that time. I had a lot of clarity from sobriety.” While Margo Price continued to collaborate on most of the songwriting with her husband Jeremy Ivey, she recorded with an historic band assembled by Sturgill, and including guitarist Matt Sweeney (Adele, Iggy Pop), bassist Pino Palladino (D’Angelo, John Mayer), drummer James Gadson (Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye), and keyboardist Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers).
That’s How Rumors Get Started will make it very hard for the country music scene to try and pigeon-hole the singer into any box – the album transcends genres and above all else is just really good guitar music with fabulous song-writing. It’s a record you won#t be able to put down, like a really good book it will keep you tied down until the very end.
Margo Price’s adoration for Fleetwood Mac goddess Stevie Nicks is no secret, and it shines through on That’s How Rumors Get Started while still keeping Price’s charm and unqiue vocals at the forefront. The record presents tracks that are arena-ready, but more so, they are songs that have feel-good factor with the need to be turned up loud.
Opening track and the album’s title track, That’s How Rumors Get Started has a Stevie Nick’s feel about it, and whether the slight nod to Fleetwood Mac’s iconic 1977 record is intentional or not, the track draws you in just like it’s name-sake. Soft piano in the background, wrapping themselves gently around Margo Price’s matured vocals.
Having come a long way from her country-rock image, the album shows who Price is as an artist better than ever before. Letting Me Down picks up on a more upbeat rock sound, that reminds very little of country music. Even more so is following track Twinkle Twinkle, with its snaring guitars and stomping beats, it’s classic rock goodness.
Hey Child is a beautiful, lullaby-like song that shows Price’s more vulnerable side and highlights her vocal talents more than most songs on the album, also thanks to the involvement of the Nashville Friends Gospel Choir. The following Heartless Mind takes the listener back on the rock track, with Tom Petty-esque melodies and 80s pop psychededllic synths its chorus is incredibly well-written rock music.
Across the record, Margo Price worked with star-studded lineup of backing musicians, including James Gadson (Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye) and Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), which truly elevates the songs, especially tracks such as Gone To Say with its incredibly melodic composition throughout.
Prisoner Of The Highway is likely the only “country” song on That’s How Rumours Get Started. However, thanks to the added gospel-like melody and choir backing, it fits nicely amongst the rest. Closing track I’d Die For You, is a soaring and fierce critique on America’s current social issues. “Some learn hate, that others teach, And some don’t understand.” she sings. Throughout the entirety of the song there’s a pained sincerity that is tragically beautiful and something we can all sadly relate to. It’s a call to arms, but at the same time it’s a love song, to a lover or a child, that no matter what the world throws at you, if needs be I will die for you. What an absolutely stunning way to end a stunning record.
With That’s How Rumors Get Started Margo Price has presented herself as a grown artist, writing and singing the songs it seems she was always meant to perform, in front of huge audiences (soon, we hope!). Having had her fair share of tragic stories to fill more records, she deserves every positive vibe this album is sending her way.