The wait for new music from Miranda Lambert is finally over. The Texas native’s latest single “It All Comes Out in the Wash” was released to country radio Thursday (July 18), and the infectious, tongue-in-cheek tune is a welcome return for the singer-songwriter.
“I’m so excited,” Lambert tells Billboard over the phone from a stop in Paso Robles, Calif., before soundcheck at the California Mid-State Fair. “I’m very ready. Having time off to write was great. I got to live some life for a little bit, which helps, but I’m definitely really excited to have new music to play on the road.”
“It All Comes Out in the Wash” comes nearly 15 months after Lambert’s previous single, “Keeper of the Flame,” from 2016’s double-album The Weight of These Wings. Lambert has lived a lot of life since then — including getting married to New York City police officer Brendan McLoughlin, whom she enlisted to help with some cheeky promotion for her new single.
Lambert penned “It All Comes Out in the Wash” with Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose, a songwriter collective known as the Love Junkies who have penned hits like Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty,” among others.
Below, Lambert chats with Billboard about the song’s writing process and reveals that more new music is on the way. She says fans will get to hear some unreleased tracks from her forthcoming studio album during her Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour: “We’re going to be putting more songs out as soon as possible. I just hope the fans can embrace this one and get ready for the rest,” she says.
“It All Comes Out in the Wash” is your first new single in 15 months. What was it about the song that lent itself to be the lead track of your next album?
I think it was just kind of classic me. I think that it’s got some sarcasm to it, but it’s very honest. I haven’t had a single out in a long time, and I’m just ready to have new music. I’m in a new phase of my life and ready to have new music out there that represents that. This one just felt perfect as far as the vibe of it. It’s fun and lighthearted and I’m really excited about it.
How did the song come to be? Was there a certain lyric you had that kicked off the track?
I actually had the title for a while, and I took it to the Love Junkies. They’re some of my favorite people to write with and one day I walked in and I was like, “You know what? Everything’s fine. No matter what happens, it all comes out in the wash,” which is something my mom and grandma always would say — and it’s true. Everything finds a resolve, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. My last record went through a lot of the trials to tribulations I had been going through personally, and I feel like I’m kind of over the hump and this song represents that in a really great way.
Is there one line you’re especially proud of?
I kind of love “The Tide stick will get it.” [Laughs] That’s one of my favorites. I remember we were writing the song and just having fun writing it. Really, we were just talking about scenarios that had either happened to us as a group or someone we know, and the Tide stick came up and we all cracked up. The funny part is, I remember being at Target the next week and finding a whole bin of Tide sticks. I was like, “Yup, gonna have to need one of those.”
Is there a specific lyric that comes from your own personal experience?
Not really. I think every girl has been through moments [in the song]. Staining something important or calling someone you shouldn’t, all of it. There’s little things in life that you do that you go, “Ah, I probably shouldn’t have done that,” and it’s fine. Everybody gets past it.
What was it like writing with the Love Junkies?
It’s fun. We always have fun. It’s a bunch of girls that are willing to get in a room and be honest and it just feels like that. It feels very exciting and fun. Everybody lets their guard down, and I think that’s important: When you’re going to a songwriting session to come in and be open-minded and open-hearted and be ready to lay your shit out.
This seems to be more of a fun side for you. Is “It All Comes Out in the Wash” a good indication of what we can expect your next album to sound like?
I think it is. I feel like it definitely has the attitude and tone of the record. This whole record’s a little… there’s some positive things and [it’s] a little more upbeat than The Weight of These Wings, and it just reflects where I am in life.
You debuted another new song, “Locomotive,” in June at CMA Fest, which had more of a rock vibe.
I’m really excited about that. This record has a lot of little rock ‘n’ roll influences in it. I think spending a lot of time in New York City kind of brought that into my art. I’ve also been on a huge rock ‘n’ roll kick lately. I’ve been on a Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin kick, so I think some of that’s reflected as well.
Have you been exploring the music scene in New York?
I have. I sometimes take myself on dates. The other day, I took myself on a date. My husband was busy and so I went and had dinner and then went to the Red Lion to hear a rock cover band and got a few drinks. It was awesome. I love that about that city — you can kind of just walk down the street and stumble into somewhere that has something amazing happening. I love the energy of that city and just the inspiration you can get if you look for it.
Will there be any collaborations on the upcoming album?
There is a collab. I’m going to save it for later. There is a collaboration with a friend on this record, so that’s really fun and exciting. I’m glad the single’s coming out, because that means the closer it is to the time for everyone to hear all the music. So, you know, I’m just ready to jump into the next phase.
You’ve been teasing another announcement. Can you give us a hint of what else you’ll be revealing?
It might be an extra song.
Can we expect a new album later this year?
Yeah. I don’t think I can wait any longer than this year. I think the record should be out by the fall. That would be my ideal situation. I haven’t been given the go-ahead to say that or that it will happen for sure, but I’m putting it out there in the air so that it does.
You recently posted a video of your husband doing laundry. How does he feel about helping out with your single promo?
He said he’s happy for me and whatever it takes to get my song out there. I do have a tendency to creep on him when he’s doing house chores shirtless. And so I figured why not share that with my friends? I creep on him doing all kinds of things: mowing, laundry, dishes. So whenever the next promo comes around, I’m sure I’ll have a video.