Goldendale, Washington singer-songwriter Margo Cilker’s debut Pohorylle made it onto our list of the best country albums of 2021. Today she’s announced the follow-up. Valley Of Heart’s Delight isn’t coming until September, but today we get to hear its opening track, “Lowland Trail.” It’s a smart bit of writing that mostly just repeats the refrain “I’m lookin’ for a lowland trail” but at one point cuts to the heart of the matter: “Got trouble cropping up where there could have been love/ I’ve seen it on a lowland trail/ You put it all on the line and it wasn’t enough/ Better take it to a lowland trail.”
Cilker’s statement on the new LP:
I wrote these songs surrounded by the wild landscapes of the Northwest, but I was leaning toward the place I’d come from. I felt cut off from my family and the valley that held them. I spent hours thinking about my sense of belonging. I’d traveled through many places and then, when the travel stopped, I ruminated on where I had ended up. Where were you when the music stopped? I was in Enterprise, OR. And there in Enterprise, my mind drifted back to the Valley of Heart’s Delight.
I wrote about family — about death and rebirth, and the arcs of love and art through a family line. There are songs that hint at missteps and redemption. There are songs about trees: in orchard rows, family trees, redwoods. And water: agricultural runoff, wild rivers, dammed rivers, baptismal flows. And there’s a [cover] song about a fish, cause it’s a damn good song and I wanted to record it.
Hear “Lowland Trail” below.
01 “Lowland Trail”
02 “Keep It On A Burner”
03 “I Remember Carolina”
04 “Beggar For Your Love”
05 “Mother Told Her Mother Told Me”
06 “With The Middle”
07 “Santa Rosa”
08 “Crazy Or Died”
09 “Steelhead Trout”
10 “Sound & Fury”
11 “All Tied Together”
Valley Of Heart’s Delight is out 9/15 via Fluff & Gravy.