'Piece of home': Fargo gets a shoutout in new pop song
LOS ANGELES — It's pretty common for songs to feature cities in their lyrics: "The Night Chicago Died," "Philadelphia Freedom" and "Viva Las Vegas" are just a few that come to mind.
Fargo has been mentioned a few times in song, including by Lyle Lovett ("Farther Down the Line,") Jimmy Buffett ("Travelin' Clean") and Johnny Cash ("I've Been Everywhere"). But Fargo is getting another shoutout in a brand-new song released by the self-described "girl trio" COLOR.
The group features Fargo native and lead singer Izzy Marcil and two friends, South African drummer Emma Williams and Chinese-American producer Belinda Huang. Their song "Locals" is a bright and breezy pop song, reminiscent of another trio of girlfriends — 1990s chart-toppers Wilson Phillips.
Marcil is the daughter of Forum Publisher Bill Marcil Jr.
The three women, all 23, first met while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduation, they moved to Los Angeles to pursue separate careers in music, but the idea to work together popped up one night — while the women, now roommates, were just hanging out.
"We were doing a puzzle one night when Belinda said, 'We should be in a band together,' " says Williams.
After some thought, they realized it made a lot of sense.
"We obviously get on really well together," Williams says. "We have a natural chemistry and all have very different strengths."
Marcil and Williams wrote "Locals" one day on their fire escape after feeling "stuck indoors." They started talking about what it meant to be in L.A. together instead of home with their families and found it's not that different.
"Our own cities (and countries) will always be special to us and we'll never forget our roots," Marcil says. "But we're starting to realize that belonging is less about the place and more about the people. We're each other's little family here, and that feels like a tiny piece of home wherever we are."
The song pays homage to the cities where they grew up or spent a lot of time. They mention Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, for Williams, Taipei for Huang and Fargo for Marcil. At the same time, "Locals" reflects on what it means to feel like you belong in a new city.
Marcil says she enjoys sharing the song with her hometown and the people she loves.
"Growing up, I was itching to leave. I think no matter where you're from it's always like that," she says. "But looking back now, the friends I have back home are some of my favorite people in the whole world. There's something irreplaceable about the people that you've grown up with. I really treasure it, and that's Fargo to me."
In fact, Williams and Huang have also enjoyed the Fargo vibe.
"Belinda and I were driving Izzy's car one day out here (Los Angeles) — it has North Dakota plates — when a guy came over to us and said, 'Hey, North Dakota!' It's pretty cool that North Dakotans seem to have this little club wherever they go," Williams says.
"Being from a city like Fargo is funny because people all over the world actually know of it (thanks to the Coen Brothers)," she says. "People are always like, 'No way, you're from Fargo?' It's become this famously quirky place."
COLOR might be appearing in our quirky city soon. They're planning a trip to Fargo over Labor Day and are hoping to line up some gigs.
"Locals" is the first track to be released from a four-song EP, with the other three also planned to be released as singles.
"Of course we're dreaming of a tour one day. That would be great!" says Marcil.
Listen to the song