Nashville-based Colorado-bred singer/songwriter Michelle Mandico has unveiled a beautiful new video for “Ptarmigan,” the title track of her widely-praised LP released in 2018. “Ptarmigan” was filmed on the ski slopes at Loveland Pass in Colorado; Mandico, who grew up on these same slopes, wrote the song on Christmas Day in 2015, after she skied the silent, empty slopes alone, contemplating a challenging time she was going through personally and within her family. She spent most of her time using a lift called Ptarmigan – a ptarmigan is a cold climate-dwelling bird that changes color (from dark to light) with the seasons for survival. She wrote the song that night and began to identify with the ptarmigan’s symbology, thinking of it as a metaphor for that season of her life, an artist passing through darkness into the light. “The stripped-down acoustic-guitar based song features Mandico’s delicate vocals as she contemplates her place in the world,” said Mandico. “My hope is that this video as a visual story conveys the metaphor that this album has become for me. The courage and awareness to speak up about the blind spots that depression can cause and in contrast to the bright, wide ideas that artists flow through, oftentimes quietly riding the ups and downs of life, purpose, and existence.”
The song features Scott Mulvahill and Luther Dickinson on guitars, and Ryan Joseph (Alan Jackson, Kacey Musgraves) on fiddle. The song (and album) was co-produced by Mandico and Kevin Houston and was executively produced by Dickinson.