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 heart-wrenching 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 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 triple-platinum selling artist. In 2015, 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 dogs, Turnip and Georgie and her partner, Wyatt. She released a handful of EPs, and in 2018, Lambert released a devastating poetry collection centered around mental illness called Shame is an Ocean I Swim Across published by Macmillan.
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.
With all of her accomplishments in tow, Lambert’s sophomore full-length album, Grief Creature, is her culminating masterpiece. Self-produced and crowdfunded, the album was released in late 2019. Featuring musician-friends like Macklemore, Hollis and Julien Baker, the songs showcase Lambert’s uncanny ability to leave her listener spellbound. She is starring in an unnamed Netflix animated movie for cinematic release in 2021, and is currently composing music for 1946, a documentary about LGBTQ rights and biblical scripture.