Miranda Lambert is happy and it shows. With a new marriage to NY police office Brendan Mclouglin and the release of her eighth studio album, Wildcard, on Friday (Nov. 1), the Texas native is getting back to her roots
“I approached it with the same energy and open-mindedness I did my very first record, but then in the same breath, I also was ready to be pushed and do a little something,” Miranda told One Country of her new album. “There’s two thoughts about it for me—kind of going back to the rock and roll Kerosene vibes that I had, but also being a little more less chip on my shoulder, and more like sarcastic and making fun of myself.”
And she does just that in songs like “White Trash” and “Pretty Bitchin.'” Prior to the release of the new album, the 35-year-old shared gave fans a taste of what was too come by releasing singles “It All Comes out in the Wash,” “Tequila Does,” and “Way Too Pretty for Prison” featuring Maren Morris.
“I love Maren. I think she’s one of the greatest singers and I believe in her. I think she’s really original, and authentic to who she is,” shares Miranda. “When I first heard her EP before it even came out with ‘My Church’ on it, I just felt like she’s someone that’s going to be really important to country music.”
Miranda sat down with One Country to talk about her new music, where she’s at in life and her favorite song on the album.
One Country: The Weight of These Wings was a heavy album, Wildcard is a lot lighter and you just seem happier now. Is that a good assessment of where you are?
Miranda Lambert: “Yeah, I’m really happy. I feel like I needed to make The Weight of These Wings for so many reasons, and really honed in on my crafting my songwriting better. I think a lot of that had to do just with moving to Nashville, and like being in it, but yeah, I mean you can’t stay in that forever. You know, it was a moment, and then it was like, all right, what are we doing now?”
One Country: “What was your mindset when you’re thinking about making Wildcard? What do you do to get prepared for an album?
“I didn’t really think about, like I never really have a direction, like, ‘this is what I’m going to do,’ but I just started writing, and I feel like just as life was happening I was writing about it. So I didn’t really set out with an, ‘I’m going to do this now. But I did have in mind what I needed live too, because I knew I was going to go back on the road and there’s holes sometimes in this set with whatever project you’re doing. I definitely needed a song like ‘Locomotive’ and I needed a song like ‘Mess With My Head’ in my set. So I was conscious of that when writing.”
One Country: What’s the significance of the name Wildcard?
Miranda Lambert: “I got a tattoo on my arm in October. And it is a Queen of hearts, a wildcard up my sleeve. And the idea originated from one of my favorite lines from a song that actually I covered. It’s a Susanna Clark and Carlene Carter song, but Emmylou Harris cut it. It’s called ‘Easy From Now On.’ And it’s one of my favorite songs. One of my favorite lines in it is, ‘When the morning comes and it’s time for me to leave, don’t worry about me. I got a wildcard up my sleeve.’ And so that was also a significance in where I got that tattoo, but mostly it was just to remind me to stay the Queen of my own heart no matter what. And somehow I always pull something out of my hat and get out of a bad situation. So then when we wrote ‘Bluebird,’ we used the line, ‘I have a wildcard up my sleeve,’ so I thought it kind of encompassed what all the songs together as a project meant.”
“Plus I’ve been called a wildcard before. Sometimes you never know what’s going to come out of my mouth.”
One Country: Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Miranda Lambert: “‘Tequila Does.’ It’s definitely my baby.”
One Country: The lead single, ‘It All Comes Out in the Wash,’ can you give me the story about how that came about.
Miranda Lambert: “My mom and grandma used to always say, ‘Don’t worry about it, it comes out in the wash,’ or just even like paying a ticket. And I went to write with The Love Junkies and I had that in my song titles list on my phone, which is ever ongoing, lists on my phone. But the girls loved it, and I had just gotten back from New Orleans at the time and I went to a street fest that was a crawfish boil, and it was like a mile long of tables with crawfish, like crazy New Orleans style. And I was wearing a white tee-shirt and I was like, ‘This isn’t a good idea.’ I was telling them that story, and they were like, ‘Well, that’s our first line.’
One Country: When listening to this album, what are fans going to learn about you from these songs, if anything?
Miranda Lambert: “I’ve always been pretty transparent so it’s not like I have a bunch of secrets, but I just hope that they, number one, learn that it does all come out in the wash. Like, sometimes you get bogged down in your life with hard things, and at some point sun comes back out and you’re cool. But just feel it, live through it, because it makes you different. And also that it’s okay to make fun of yourself. My 25 year old self was really like, ‘I have something to prove,’ and now I just kind of take it on the chin, and don’t take yourself too seriously.”
One Country: You take it a lot on the chin from the media and tabloids. Are you over it at this point?
Miranda Lambert: “It’s not even on my radar. It’s funny, because I learn all the time at Kroger what’s happening in my life. When I’m buying my eggs and milk, I’m like, ‘Oh good, honey, we’re pregnant again.’ I’ve got a whole herd of them at this point. Don’t these people know I just eat cheeseburgers sometimes?”
“I also think it’s just if they’re talking about you, you must matter enough. And even if people that you know are reading it, they don’t believe it. And the good news is, it’s so fleeting. It passes so quickly that it’s not the storm that you think it’s going to be and then you just go back to living a regular life and don’t worry about it.”
Wildcard, produced by Jay Joyce, is available now.