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This Feels Big: Miranda Lambert Signs with Republic, Big Loud

When it was announced that Miranda Lambert was leaving Sony Nashville after 20 years in March of 2023, it felt monumental for a host of reasons. Now that she has signed with Republic Records, along with Big Loud helping out on the radio side, it feels monumental as well.

It’s not that it’s unprecedented for major label artists to switch companies. It’s that for many years now despite the consecutive “Female Vocalist of the Year” from the ACMs and other accolades, Miranda Lambert has felt systemically underserved and held back, in part because so much of her career transpired during country’s Bro-Country phase.

The career of Miranda Lambert is also important because when it comes to songwriters, Miranda Lambert has been one the their strongest champions, forging careers through songwriting cuts and collaborations, whether it’s through her recent album The Marfa Tapes with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, her supergroup The Pistol Annies, or cuts on her albums proper.

Adam Hood, Waylon Payne, Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley, Brandy Clark, and more are songwriters who all received a major boost from Miranda. She’s also covered songs from John Prine, Tom T. Hall, Fred Eaglesmith, Shake Russell, and many others over the years.

On Tuesday (4-23), it was announced that Miranda Lambert had signed with Republic Records in partnership with Big Loud, with a new single called “Wranglers” to be released on May 3rd. Republic Records will be Miranda’s label home, while Big Loud will be there for radio promotion and other marketing stuff.

The announcement comes after months of speculation that Big Loud would at least be a part of Miranda Lambert’s career moving forward. As the home of Morgan Wallen, Hardy, and Ernest, Big Loud has been on the cutting edge of mainstream country success recently, along with working with more independent artists such as Charles Wesley Godwin and Jake Worthington.

Lambert collaborated with Morgan Wallen on the song “Thought You Should Know,” adding to the idea that Big Loud would be involved in her career moving forward. Then the Texas-born Lambert and Texas-born songwriter Jon Randall announced the launch of the label Big Loud Texas to focus on the Texas market, and later the signing of songwriter Dylan Gossett.

Though neither Republic nor Big Loud are Texas-based labels, this does feel like the codifiying of Miranda Lambert shifting her center of gravity back home to the Lone Star State. Lambert now has a house in Texas, and recently participated in inducting Jon Randall into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Perhaps in previous eras, moving to Texas would be considered a step down in an artist’s career. But with the popularity of Texas music and independent country surging in general, this is no longer the case. What Texas does boast even if it’s from a more symbolic standpoint is artistic freedom in country.

“Being in Texas with Jon, recording where I cut my teeth as a young artist, felt like coming home. I thought about the women—and men—who’ve lived, loved and found power in my music, and I wanted to get back to the root of those spaces,” Lambert says. “Everyone understood my desires and vision for this next era of my music. Aligning like that is empowering; it gives you a license to really chase it. Signing with Republic has inspired me to find the sweet spot for me and all the people like me.”

Miranda Lambert also has folks excited about her new sing “Wranglers,” and the new music she’s been working on as she teases that it hearkens back to earlier in her career with more attitude and twang than some of her most recent work.

“Music is and always will be the thing that drives me, but having a new home has given me a hunger I didn’t realize I still had inside me,” says Lambert. “This song feels like it could be on the same record as ‘Gunpowder & Lead’; it has that same fury. I can’t wait to get out there with this new label and this new music…”

Of course, the music is the most important thing, not necessarily who is releasing it. But it will be interesting to see what Miranda Lambert comes up with after the biggest reset in her 20 year career. With country becoming more country across the board, it would be an opportune time for Miranda to return to her roots.

Miranda Lambert is performing at the Stagecoach Festival on April 27th, as well as at Under The Big Sky Fest in Montana in mid July.

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