The story behind Prairie Life, the debut album from Margo Ross, started on her nineteenth birthday, when her sister bought her a banjo. Growing up in a tiny town in the American mid-west, Margo found inspiration from the vast fields of Iowa, and taught herself to play, and to sing and to write. Back in 2018, Margo took herself to upstate New York, went into the studio with Rubblebucket’s Ian Hersey and melding the worlds of folk, indie-pop and Americana, created a record that seems to have put Margo’s world onto tape, a record indebted to landscape and wildlife, to nostalgia and storytelling. With that album due for release at the end of next month, today Margo is sharing the latest single from it, Fan The Flame.
Fan The Flame is a song that exists in the shaded area between friendship and romance, a song bristling with the tension that exists in this confusing in-between place. Musically, the track has a beautiful waltzing quality, as an array of instruments from the reverberating electric-guitar through to Owen Pallet-like violins, take turns to jump to the fore and demand the listener’s attention.
The lyrics of the track seem to hint at two people existing in the in-between, neither will to commit or walk away, like a beach-goer in late April, dipping their toe into the cold ocean, but unwilling to plunge headlong into the potentially icy deep. Margo at first seems to be the one unsure, asking, “I’m not supposed to call you my friend, what else am I supposed to do?” Yet as the song progresses, the other person’s intentions seem equally indecisive, both leading one another on a merry dance, “you creep around corners, I won’t be made a sinner, don’t stand next to my fire, don’t fan the flame”. For anyone who’s been in a will-they-won’t-they relationship, it’s an all too close to the bone memory, a place where guilt and doubt run wild and confidence and clear heads are nowhere to be found. When it comes to Margo’s music though, take the risk, dive in head-first and embrace this most remarkable of new musical talents.
Prairie Life is out May 29th. For more information on Margo Ross visit https://www.facebook.com/margoross.tunes