Medium Rotation — Strays; Honey

MARGO PRICE Strays (Loma Vista) — The guest appearance of vital Heartbreaker Mike Campbell on Margo Price’s fourth album, Strays, maybe gives a little idea of what she’s up to. The track he plays on, “Light Me Up,” is wholly characteristic of Price’s typical approach, some yearning country swirled together with a hearty sploosh of earthy rock ‘n’ roll. Campbell’s weighty guitar part notwithstanding, the tune doesn’t sound all that much like something he would have made with his former compatriot Tom Petty, but it has a similar easygoing assurance, an embedded belief that making music is about as sweet of a gig as someone can draw. There are other collaborations on the album, most notably with Sharon Van Etten (the leathery cool “Radio”) and Lucius (the tenderly plaintive “Anytime You Call”), which further contribute to the sense that Price is staking out her place in the broader community of artists. She’s moved past the status upstart who got a lengthy, laudatory piece in The New York Times Magazine ahead of her debut album to demonstrate decisively that’s she someone who have the wherewithal to endure. If “Change of Heart” calls to mind a bluesy version of the Bangles and “Country Road” is like Rickie Lee Jones trying to make her own version of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, they also simply sound like Price being Price. The songwriting and performance are sharp and enticing, like they’re made for the ages. In addition to the cuts already mentioned, stay put with the tightly controlled freakout “Been to the Mountain,” “Hell in the Heartland,” “and “Landfill.”

SAMIA Honey (Grand Jury) — When an album has a title cut, that’s not necessarily where the answer key to the artist resides. It sure is tempting, though, to hold up “Honey,” off of Samia’s album of the same name, and shout, “Voila!” Light and lithe, the track is build around an insidiously good hook and the filled with lyrics of tart, twentysomething ennui: going to see Porches play a weekend show, daydreams of mermaid escapism, and the cute-girl credo found in the lines “I’m gonna wear a little black dress in the middle of the street/ Take my picture/ And if you give me a beer, I’ll forget to watch what I eat and I don’t care.” She doesn’t exactly sound like she’s trying to make an even sadder factory that the one presided over by Phoebe Bridgers, but Samia is definitely positioning herself as a mogul in the same general industry. Her sophomore effort is poignant and piquant, every bit of it crafted with tender care. There are signs that Samia’s still exploring and testing the range of her artistry, whether with the wild wail that cuts off at the end of smart winner “Breathing Song” or the Grimes-given-Rick-Rubin’s-trademark-pare-down-treatment vibes of “Mad at Me.” She’s game for anything, it seems, even lyrics that are genuinely as raw and emotional as diary pages written through rageful tears. Honey is sweet, but it’s sticky, too. Stick your head right into the jar with “Kill Her Freak Out,” “Sea Lions,” “To Me It Was,” and”Amelia.”

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