Miranda Lambert: What The Heart Wants

“I’m a huge believer in writing by yourself. It’s fun to be pushed by songwriters better than you, but it’s important to keep it close and remind you of the grind of songwriting and the reward.”

Photos by Daniela Federici

If you’re friends with Miranda Lambert — which often means you are someone she writes songs with — then you have to be prepared for middle-of-the-night texts which, as she puts it, “could either be a grocery list, or a lyric.” Lambert, sitting 13 stories above Nashville the afternoon before the CMT Awards in a cushy conference room at her label, is recounting how she and one of her closest cohorts, Ashley Monroe, have been known to send each other their phone notes, in which they both jot weird or unusual snippets of things for future music.

“At three in the morning, we’ll send a note to each other that could say, like, ‘chicken,’” she says, laughing. Lambert’s phone is filled with phrases like this: random words that catch the ear, conversations overheard. “I feel like that’s how a song starts,” she says. Maybe it’s an idea that pops into her head while behind the wheel of her newly acquired 1983 Wagoneer, which she’s stocked with a Bob Seger CD in the stereo. Maybe it’s while she’s riding a horse at her farm, or sitting on her “magic porch” at her Nashville-area home, a place where so many lyrics have been written as the valley unfolds below. 

There were many phone notes — scrawled notes, pencil and paper notes, notes on scraps and legal pads – when Lambert started writing the songs that would become The Weight Of These Wings in 2015. For the 24 that ended up on the final double album, she created somewhere around three times that, privately working through the trials of her personal life — namely, a... Sign In to Keep Reading

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Limited-time FREE Feature Magazine Content
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started a free American Songwriter membership. Click here to learn more.