Singer and composer Mary Lambert wants you to know it’s okay to cry. In fact, she’ll probably be crying too. Lambert, who rose to fame in 2012 while juggling multiple food service jobs, is best known for her tear-inducing work on the marriage equality anthem “Same Love,” from the Grammy-winning Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album, The Heist. Writing and singing the hook to “Same Love” led to two Grammy nominations for “Song of The Year” and “Album of The Year,” and her pop career flourished shortly after signing to Capitol Records. Her confessional tongue-in-cheek single, “Secrets,” shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Dance charts, and was certified RIAA Gold in 2015. She released a few EPs and a full-length album, Heart on My Sleeve, which The New York Times called “refreshing and severely personal.”
Lambert is not your typical multi-platinum selling artist. In 2016, she parted ways with formal management, her label, and big name studio producers, after a wildly successful year. The desire was to rediscover her humanity, to build a life outside of the city, and “to write a masterpiece.” Her world is not glitzy Hollywood (though she has dueted with Madonna and Jennifer Hudson on MTV) and she prefers living between Seattle and quiet Western Massachusetts with her dog, Turnip and her partner, Paige.
Despite just turning 30 years old, Lambert has seen much of life. She’s felt the jaws of severe trauma, and speaks candidly about her bipolar disorder, queerness, and a previous suicide attempt. This vulnerable approach to her art allows a unique connection between artist and listener, where the usual untouchable barrier of a performer does not exist. Lambert’s voice feels like a friend you’d call for advice about a broken heart.
This last year has kept Lambert busy: She released Shame is an Ocean I Swim Across, a devastating poetry collection published by Macmillan and Feiwel & Friends, wrote a song for Disney’s upcoming revival of High School Musical, and will be honored with the Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign in October. With all of her accomplishments in tow, Lambert’s forthcoming album, Grief Creature, is her culminating masterpiece. Self-produced and crowdfunded, the record will be released November 15th, 2019. A powerful collection of spoken word pieces, string quartets, and slick production makes this follow-up album for Lambert unprecedented in its quality and delivery. Additionally, the features on this album are highly anticipated; Lambert entrusted friends Julien Baker and Macklemore (among others) to co-write and record diary-entry style songs. Lambert says, “this is a break-up album to shame, an ode to mental illness, a love letter to hope.” It’s evident that Grief Creature is the product of trauma and sheer genius, but the result is more than the sum of its parts; Lambert has given a masterclass in how to spin the straw of pain into something breathtaking.