Written by Maria Arroyo
Singer/songwriter, Suzi Ragsdale, shares her first new music in over a decade, an EP title Ghost Town. The EP, co-written and produced with Sam Frank, is Ragsdale‘s newest project, and it’s worth the wait. Striking at a “pivotal time in our history, when personal contact is limited yet intimate connections remain as important as ever,” Ghost Town exploits her commitment to creating harmony within her mind, body, and spirit through her music.
Her opening track, “Bonfire,” has a beautifully-dark sound with a nice and low timbre in her voice that carries the sound so smoothly. Ragsdale shares that the inspiration for this song comes from wanting to rid her home and her mind of excess clutter and weight. “Out went old love letters, notebooks full of lyrics that didn’t ring true,” she shares. “Stuff I didn’t want, need, or value anymore. I was purging, clearing, and feng shuiing my spaces, in and outside of my head. But how to do away with it all?” The answer? A Bonfire!
The title track, “Ghost Town,” is another incredible song that’s written so clearly and completely, with this carefree attitude in the music. Ragsdale describes this song as “lingering memories of fairy tales, fantasies, and lies” while still remaining close to home. I love the progression of this song musically, mentally, and emotionally, which allowed me to really intertwine myself with every moment of the song.
Her next track, titled “Loved and Won,” is a beautiful and humbling song. It’s a simple tune that really lightens up the album. Ragsdale pulls inspiration from her views on relationships that didn’t work out as anticipated, and boy does she hit the nail on the head with her point! “It’s always bothered me when people talk trash about their exes and cling forever to what went wrong in their relationships,” She explains. “This song was fun to write – But the point of the song was to say that love is never wasted or wrong or a failure. If it really was love, we were blessed to have had it, for however long.”
Now… I thought I already had a favorite track for this album, but then “Live Until You Die” played, and all that went out the window, because this is the one (but “Loved and Won” is still right next to it)! It’s carefree and spontaneous, yet carefully thought out and beautifully executed! Sharing that this song is about “muscling through hard times, loneliness and adversity,” it makes the connection between the listener and her song that much stronger. These basic emotions that we feel are broken down and rebuild into this gem of a song.
The next track, “Wildflowers,” is a wonderfully crafted song that truly frees the mind and body. It pulls you in and emits the strength and motivation to DO something with yourself, to feel inspired, and to move in some way. “I went through my notebook for a lyric idea to bring to our co-write,” Ragsdale shares. “I chose a line about preferring wildflowers to roses as a metaphor for nature over culture, freedom over control. It wound up being about honoring your true self and standing by your choices, however regimented or wild they may be.”
Her closing track to a masterpiece of an album is “The Ending.” Now, I could write a few hefty paragraphs about how, from a songwriter’s perspective, I loved the musical structure she has, her amazing lyrical skills, and beautifully captivating voice, but we’d be here for a while. So in just a few words?
Absolutely breathtaking. Extremely invigorating. Honest and elegant.
Suzi Ragsdale is the perfect example of an optimistic realist in today’s world. You can’t help but listen to this album, and not fully immerse yourself in her story, and feel empowered and alive.
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