After Six Albums, Miranda Lambert Finally Shares a Soft Smile

Think back to all six of Miranda Lambert’s album covers. There’s not a smile to be had. It’s six straight shots of Lambert’s badass emotions: pensive, mournful, tortured, vengeful, pissed and/or dead serious.

But she’s smiling now. It’s kind of a demure soft smile, but a smile nonetheless.

“That smile may just be the wildcard I pulled out of my sleeve this time because of where I’ve gotten in my life,” Lambert told Billboard Country Update about how her Wildcard cover reflects her current state of newlywed bliss. (Lambert and her husband Brendan McLoughlin are on the verge of their first wedding anniversary.)

Elsewhere in the story, Lambert shares what went into the making of her latest single off Wildcard, “Bluebird.”

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It was an emotional day in the studio, she explained. “I’m a Scorpio, and I’m a woman, so that equals emotion. If you’re in the room with musicians and you’re putting down this track of a song that you love dearly, you’re going to sing like (the room feels).

“But if you’re running in there at 2:30 and you’re like, ‘I have an hour before my next interview, I’m going to get this vocal,’ it just doesn’t work for me, you know? I have to be put into place. I guess it’s almost like an actress being put in her role at the time. Like it’s hard to snap in and out,” she explained.

Lambert penned “Bluebird” with Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick and says that the vibe of the day of the write was highly emotional. First, Dick had texted Lambert with a few lines of a 1992 Charles Burkowski poem called “The Bluebird.” Then, Lambert shared her big secret that she’d been dying to share.

“She poured a glass of wine and held up her hand. She goes, ‘I got married three days ago.’ And Luke and I started laughing,” Hemby said, “like, we just couldn’t believe it.”

“I felt like for that song I might as well tell my news to my friends because I felt like it would really add. And it turned out that it did,” Lambert added.

When the group did get down to the business of song-crafting, that went something like this:

“I kind of twisted it to fit a little bit more of what I sing about and how I state things,” she said. “There was a lot of poetry in the song, and a line like If love keeps givin’ me lemons/I just mix ’em in my drink was something to sort of bring it back and simplify for a second.”

Lambert’s Wildcard tour starts on Thursday (Jan. 16) in Tupelo with Cody Johnson and LANCO.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.