Miranda Lambert announced her unexpected latest project, The Marfa Tapes, on Thursday. The stripped-down album is a collection of raw country tunes written and performed alongside Texas singer-songwriters Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. On Friday, Lambert, Ingram, and Randall debuted a song off the record: The sparse ballad “In His Arms” offers a preview for the album’s sonic, thematic, and atmospheric direction.
“Is he playing in some house band in Dallas?” Lambert, who sings lead throughout the song, ponders. “Is he breaking horses in San Antone?” An accompanying video captures the three participants performing the song out in the deserts of West Texas, where the album was conceived.
The Marfa Tapes is named after the small, trendy West Texas town that served as a writing retreat for Lambert, Randall, and Ingram in recent years. “I’ll never forget pulling into Marfa that first night at 4 a.m.,” Lambert said in a statement. “The stars were like nothing I’d ever seen before, just this endless blanket hanging so low you could reach up and touch them.”
The singers recorded the majority of the album’s 15 tracks outdoors. Two of the songs — “Tin Man” and “Tequila Does” — have appeared on previous Lambert records, while the rest are newly written for The Marfa Tapes.
“There’s no pressure to write,” Randall said of the trio’s Marfa hangs. “But most of the time, the three of us can’t seem to help ourselves.”
The Marfa Tapes will be released May 7th. Here’s the track list:
- “In His Arms”
- “I Don’t Like It”
- “The Wind’s Just Gonna Blow”
- “Am I Right or Amarillo”
- “Homegrown Tomatoes”
- “Breaking a Heart”
- “We’ll Always Have the Blues”
- “Tin Man”
- “Two-Step Down to Texas”
- “Tequila Does”
- “Amazing Grace (West Texas)”
Every time I need an escape, I go to Marfa TX. @JackIngram & @jonrandallmusic come. We recharge. We get inspired by its beauty. We write songs. Tin Man was the 1st we shared with you. Tequila Does, the 2nd. In between, we’ve written 13 more. It’s about time to share them w/ y’all pic.twitter.com/krh1NUeIli
— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) March 3, 2021