When Miranda Lambert released her freshman Crazy Ex-Girlfriend album in 2007, artists were still focusing on complete albums, with streaming and downloads not yet reaching their full popularity. But now, as Lambert readies the release of her seventh studio album, Wildcard, she realizes much has changed in the music industry she loves, especially in the last three years – and maybe not all for the better.
"I'm so romantic about albums and the journey," Lambert told the New York Times. "Ever since I put out The Weight of These Wings, everything is so different in the industry. I'll joke around and say, if I'm wearing a short dress, 'I'm trying to sell some records!' But what are we saying? Am I trying to sell records, or am I trying to be streamed?"
The Weight of These Wings was an audacious double album, released in 2016, during what Lambert has previously called a dark season of her life. While the songs were all breathtakingly honest and vulnerable, only one song, "Vice," cracked the Top 10.
"I made The Weight of These Wings and couldn't get a single on the charts to save my life, but I won Song of the Year," Lambert said, referring to her 2018 ACM Award for "Tin Man." "I already had that mentality, because my relationship with radio has been tumultuous. I didn't even have a Top 5 song until my third record. I had platinum albums and I was winning awards. I just couldn't get played on the radio. It sucks."
The music industry might be challenging, perhaps now more than ever, but music has always been in Lambert's blood. It was something she started to pursue, even before she realized the magnitude of that decision.
"I remember writing a song when I was 17 on my bathroom floor, and my mom came in and listened," Lambert recalled. "It was called 'Leave Me Lying Here.' I didn't really know what the song meant, but it was pretty deep. I lived a little, and then I was like, 'Oh, now I know what that song means."'That was one of the moments — I realized I could write bigger than me. Because at 17, what have you really lived?"
Lambert just announced the release of a Wildcard film, released on Nov. 4, only on Apple Music. Lambert is nominated for one CMA Award, for Female Vocalist of the Year, and will also perform her current single, "It All Comes Out in the Wash," during the live broadcast. The show will air on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty / C Flanigan