By Shannon Carlin
If you want to know how Miranda Lambert really feels about the current state of the world—particularly its reliance on technology—just listen to “Automatic.”
Lambert wrote the song off her latest album, Platinum, with her two friends, frequent collaborator Natalie Hemby and former Voice contestant Nicolle Galyon, after a conversation the women had about the good ol’ days that just so happen to be not that long ago.
The 30-year-old singer was talking about how when she was growing up in Texas she would listen to music on cassette tapes and how her mom would hang laundry out to dry on the clothes line, not just throw them in the dryer.
This conversation ended up spawning the very nostalgic track’s lines about what it was like before things seemed so easy. How if you had something to tell someone, you’d have to write it in a letter and wait three days for them to get it instead of just sending an email or you’d actually have to call them on the phone, a landline or find a quarter for the pay phone, to have an actual conversation instead of reaching into your pocket to text them whatever emoji seems appropriate at the time.
Lambert’s outlook is easily summed up in the song’s two-line chorus: “It all just seemed so good the way we had it/ Back before everything became automatic.”
“We were all kind of bright-eyed talking about it and I just got a special feeling,” Lambert tells Radio.com of the song. “I got chills…it just really hit home for me. It just really speaks about what got me here, who I am.”
Lambert comes from humble beginnings. She’s the daughter of two private investigators, who worked hard but occasionally found themselves with barely enough to eat. At least one time, Lambert admitted, they were left homeless. But, despite their meager earnings, in 2001, Lambert’s family raised enough money to help her pay for her first album. Two years later, she was a contestant on Nashville Star.
Though, she finished as second runner-up on the reality singing competition, she landed a contract with Sony Music and released her debut Kerosene in 2005. That album earned her four Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “Me and Charlie Talking,” “Bring Me Down,” “New Strings” and the title track.
That was a decade ago. Now, Lambert is no longer the reality show spitfire trying to prove herself, she’s the Beyoncé of country music, a comparison that goes much further than the two women being part of high profile celebrity marriages. Lambert, like Queen Bey, runs the country music world.
This year, Lambert topped the Billboard 200 chart for the first time ever, won the GRAMMY for Best Country Album and earned seven nominations, including Album of the Year, Female Entertainer of the Year and Single Record of the Year for “Automatic,” at this year’s ACM Awards, which air April 19 on CBS.
Lambert is the gun toting woman who shows all the bros where it’s at and it was drive and determination that got her here. Nothing was easy. Nothing was automatic.
“I just always had this gut feeling about [‘Automatic’] and it sort of brings out a pride about the way I was raised,” she says. “I just feel it says something that needs to be said and felt like the right thing to do to put it out as the first single.”
The album itself, Lambert says, is “a picture of who I am right now” and the person she is right now, wants to sit back, relax and enjoy what it means to be Miranda Lambert.
“The older I’m getting,” she says, “I’m just trying to slow down and appreciate moments.”
Watch this year’s ACM Awards airing April 19 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
Interview by Annie Reuter