Mary Lambert: “Heart on My Sleeve”

Mary Lambert releases her single "Secrets" and her album "Heart on My Sleeve."


photo via Wikipedia under the Creative Commons License

It's no secret that "Secrets" will be a hit

SEATTLE—It was just two years ago in 2012 that up-and-coming artist, Mary Lambert, 25, lent her vocals to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ marriage equality anthem, “Same Love.” “And I can’t change,” she sang, “Even if I tried/even if I wanted to.” Now in 2014, Lambert has broken out of her “featured artist” chains with the releases of her single, “Secrets,” and her subsequent album, “Heart on My Sleeve.”

“Secrets” was released on July 15, 2014. Musically, it is a catchy pop smash. Mary Lambert’s cute vocals (Sooooo what?/Sooooo what?) echo in the foreground of an array of drum beats and trumpet blares. Lyrically, it explores the theme of “loving yourself unabashedly.” “It’s easy to paint a pretty picture and tell everyone to love themselves, but it’s way more complicated than that,” said Lambert. “There is so much shame and guilt in our society, and I think it has deprived a lot of people from living fully…in short, this song is my dirty laundry, and that’s actually really freeing.”

Of the album, Lambert called it “a statement for me as an artist, but also for me as a human being. I spent a lot of my life feeling really small and worthless, and to put out an album where I’ve gotten to say exactly what I want is gratifying beyond words.”


No Secrets to Conceal

If “Secrets” is Lambert’s “dirty laundry,” then her troubled past would definitely be the mud bath that soiled her clothing. Growing up poor in Everett, Washington, Lambert was raised in a strict Pentecostal household filled with drug/alcohol abuse. At the same time she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Lambert picked up the guitar and fell in love with folk artists such as Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls, and James Taylor.

At 19 years old, coming off of “a manic stint for three days and partying real hard without sleeping,” Lambert stumbled upon the art of spoken word on YouTube. “I watched a couple of different poets, Anis Mojgani and Shira Erlichman, and I became obsessed,” she said. “I knew I had to do it and that it was another part of me that needed to be explored.”

It was in early summer of 2012 when Seattle hip-hop power duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis decided to write “Same Love,” a song about marriage equality, in support of Washington state’s Referendum 74 regarding same-sex marriage. The group employed Mary Lambert to provide the backup vocals for the pre-chorus (She keeps me warm/she keeps me warm), and the chorus (And I can’t change/even if I tried/even if I wanted to). At the 2014 Grammys, she performed the song alongside Macklemore and Ryan Lewis while Madonna and Queen Latifah married 33 couples, some of which were same-sex couples.

Lambert also released “500 Tips for Fat Girls,” a collection of poetry inspired by her own personal experiences.

The music industry is full of negativity and imperfect people trying to be someone they’re not. Amongst the dishonesty and dissembling of modern lyrics, Mary Lambert stays true to herself and is honest with her struggles, and brings a refreshing vision to the world of pop music. “Secrets” and “Heart on My Sleeve” are both available for purchase now on iTunes.




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