It has to be hard for an artist to let their work stand on its own and make no comment about it, but that’s the conscious choice Miranda Lambert made with her latest album, The Weight of These Wings. What’s really unusual is that she's let that happen for two years, since the album was released in 2016. Now, she’s explained why she made that decision, in part two of her first real interview since entering the studio to record the album. (We covered part one here.)
The outlet she chose for her first interview was Hits Daily Double, and her reason for avoiding the media following the album’s release makes so much sense. “It was going to be hell, and I’d already been through hell,” she said, referring to her divorce from Blake Shelton, which inspired the album. “It was hell putting it on paper, putting my words on paper. So I didn’t want to rehash.”
After the album was released, she thought it was safe to get back into the media waters and began to schedule interviews. She quickly discovered it wasn’t going to be all about the music. “When the music was out, people had listened, I got on the phone for the first interview. First question was, 'How do you feel about Gwen [Stefani]?' I hung up. I told [my manager] Marion [Kraft], I just can’t do this.” And she hasn’t until now.
That’s an understandable choice, but a unique one in an industry in which supporting and promoting work is just as much a part as creating it. But not only did Lambert want to avoid reliving the heartache, she genuinely felt that the double record could stand on its own. “I’d finally gotten to a place where I wasn’t sad anymore. All the sad moments were there, all the truths were right in those songs. All you had to do was listen. I didn’t need to say anything.”
Lambert also discussed her decision to use writing as part of her therapy and set down on paper all the emotions she had about her breakup. “I remember telling [producer] Frank [Liddell] right before I started writing… I remember saying. 'I’m about to feel a lot. I’m ready to feel every bit of it, and I’m gonna use all of it.' And he said, 'I’m in.' I didn’t even know really what all it was gonna take to come out of it, but I was gonna feel it. And I was gonna come out alive. Hungover a lot, maybe, but I was gonna get through it.” The effort has paid off. The album won album of the year at the ACM awards and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Putting everything down on paper has probably helped Lambert move on personally. Soon after her divorce from Shelton, she began dating singer Anderson East. They broke up earlier this year and a source told Us Weekly in May that she’s now dating Evan Felker, singer for the Turnpike Troubadours. His band is opening for Lambert on her current U.S. tour.
We have to respect Lambert’s choice; a tough one in an industry in which the attention moves on in a hot second. But we’re also really glad to see her back.