Miranda Lambert Didn’t Have ‘Too Much Expectation’ for Her New Album ‘The Marfa Tapes’

by Katie Maloney
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Even a country superstar like Miranda Lambert has to manage her expectations.

You know when you go on a road trip with friends and the experiences you have together just feel like magic? You may not even be sure why, at the moment, but you know that those experiences are going to stay with you for the rest of your life? Well, Miranda Lambert had a similar experience with her friends/co-writers, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. The three of them were sitting in a parked car in Marfa, Texas last year while listening to songs they recorded together on their iPhones.

Something about that moment inspired Miranda Lambert and she had the idea to create an album of all the songs they’d written together. No studios, no production crews, or high-quality instruments. No editing. Just Miranda and her friends jamming out in Marfa, Texas. And so, “The Marfa Tapes album was born. During a recent interview, Lambert opened up about how the album came to be.

“That was probably the Tito’s talking,” joked Lambert. “But the next morning, in the sober light of day, it still felt like a legitimate idea.”

The trio had recorded countless songs over the course of four trips to Texas in seven years. So, they decided to weed through the old recordings, choose their favorite songs, and then re-record slightly better versions for the album. Nevertheless, each song contains its own unique backdrop of sounds including Texas desert wind, laughter, and the occasional muddled line.

Miranda Lambert Said She Knew the Album Felt ‘Substantial’ but She Didn’t Set High Expectations

When preparing to release the album, Miranda Lambert said that she tried to stay balanced when setting her expectations.

“I try not to have too much expectation because I have let myself down too often,” said Lambert. “But there’s certainly something special about the three of us together, Marfa, and what comes out of that. We all had this innate sense that it wasn’t just a regular hanging-out songwriting session. It felt substantial.”

Miranda Lambert added that the group has reached a place in their careers where they can unapologetically release an album like “The Marfa Tapes.

“…But, I guess all the years of work put in by all three of us allowed us to do this because we love it, without having to apologize,” said Lambert. “And I also attribute a little bit of that to the time that we chose to record this, [during] the pandemic. There was room and space to go do it without thinking about schedules, touring, and the other projects we have going.”