Miranda Lambert has dropped two new singles, “It All Comes Out in the Wash” and “Locomotive”, in anticipation of her seventh album. And because it’s Miranda, there’s always an element of her personal life mixed in. That is why she is consistently good for gossip.
I don’t know much about country music or what makes a hit (for what it’s worth, Rolling Stone calls it breezy and upbeat), but I am an expert at decoding lyrics. These songs are easy to unpack: this is Miranda’s version of don’t sweat the small stuff, there’s no crying over spilled milk etc. “It All Comes Out in the Wash” is about mistakes being temporary and easy to wipe away.
You got frisky with your boss at the copy machine / You drunk dialed your ex-husband, don’t remember a thing / Had a fancy dinner at your mother-in-law’s / Spilled A1 sauce on her table cloth, don’t sweat it / A Tide stick will get it.
Now if we are going to armchair psychoanalyze Miranda, it’s obvious she views her husband, Brendan McLoughlin as a fresh start. She had a very messy time with her exes, particularly Evan Felker. Miranda has always been unapologetic about her romantic impulses and this song seems to say, “See? It all worked out great.”
Her second single is called “Locomotive”, which Google tells me is a fan favourite at live shows. This is about Miranda’s domestic life being idyllic, even as she acts messy. Miranda isn’t the track, she’s the train. You know that theory that relationships have a gardener and a flower? Miranda is the flower, and Brandon is watering her by making fried chicken as she works on new music.
'Cause I'm sweet tea sippin' on my front porch sittin’, while my hubby fries chicken and I'm picking these strings.
This is hardly defiant, but it’s is definitely a flip of stereotypical gender roles. On Instagram, she promoted “It All Comes Out in the Wash” with a short clip of her shirtless husband doing laundry. It’s cute that people think this is candid – it is not. And I suspect Miranda knew exactly how this video would land with her fanbase; many women in the comments are freaking out over him like he just lifted a car off a toddler. It’s domestic porn. (I guess no one wants to be a buzzkill and point out that doing laundry is just something adults do and no man should be praised for household chores, particularly as the majority of household work often and inequitably falls to women?) He is getting a lot of credit for a load of whites, and she is encouraging that praise because it comes back to her. Look how lucky she is. Look how well things turned out for her.
When Miranda is happy and in love, she is very smug about it. It’s not enough for it to be happening; she has to let everyone know how right it is. She briefly resisted it with the private wedding and 6 months ago, she was telling people to mind their own f-cking business. Now she wants everyone to celebrate her business. Let’s see what the story is 6 months from now.