Stephanie Lambring is an upcoming Country/Folk artist who lived in Seymour, Indiana but found her home in Nashville, Tennessee. After walking away from a publishing deal five years ago, she has been revived through her latest album Autonomy. Tracks on this album such as "Daddy's Disappointment," "Pretty," "Fine," and "Save Me Tonight" helped Lambring open up her own first-hand experiences in life. Whereas on the songs "Little White Lie," "Mr. Wonderful," "Joy of Jesus," "Somebody Else's Dress," "Old Folks Home," and "Birdsong Hollow" allowed Lambring to shed light on topics such as elderly care/abuse, suicide, marriage, spousal abuse, homophobia, and God. Ultimately, her message throughout this album was perfectly summarized by the chorus in "Fine" in which she sang, "If there ain't no right way/There ain't no wrong/We get all worked up about what everybody wants/There's no such thing as wasted time/So whatever you're doin' you're doin' just fine."
In a recent interview Lambring gave insight to what the creation of Autonomy was like, and where she draws inspiration from. She also joked about making her own line of tissues as accompanying merch for the album, which may not be a bad idea.
How do you feel about the album now that it's out?
"I am feeling good! I was a little bit afraid that I would miss the anticipation of putting it out there, but it's been really cool to see how people are responding."
I read that one of your verses to your song "Joy of Jesus" was inspired by a friend of yours and their personal experience with conversion therapy. What other songs on the album were inspired by specific people or real-life events?
"Actually, in 'Joy of Jesus,' it was the first verse that was a friend's personal experience. She was slut-shamed on Twitter. As for conversion therapy, I knew it was something I wanted to touch on in one of the verses. I tried to channel what I'd read and heard about conversion therapy from friends and strangers. It's such a harmful practice."
What other songs on the album were inspired by specific people or real-life events?
"'Daddy's Disappointment,' 'Pretty,' 'Mr. Wonderful,' and 'Somebody Else's Dress,' were all pretty much real-life. I drew direct inspiration for pieces of 'Old Folks Home' and 'Birdsong Hollow.' 'Fine' and 'Save Me Tonight' I more so wrote for myself and my anxiety about adhering to societal norms/religion."
I also read that during one of your performances of "Joy of Jesus" at the Bluebird Café, a very Christian led crowd left the venue once the song started. Has this happened during any other performances? Do these reactions make you more nervous to sing about these issues, or does it fuel you to continue?
"Yes, that was wild! I had my eyes shut so I didn't notice it as much as the other writers in the round. I haven't had that particular experience during other performances, but I definitely have noticed very quiet applause after the song at times. Initially those reactions make me nervous, but any time I get nervous, I look at it as a challenge. Or something important to lean into. So ultimately those experiences fuel me to sing about things I'm drawn to sing about."
Do you have any plans to do a tour for the album in the future after Covid-19?
"I hope so! I would love to hop on as a support act to tour my record in 2021."
How do you feel that your songwriting has progressed since you last released music five years ago?
"It's more raw and honest than ever. It's bolder and braver. It digs deeper."
What made you walk away from your publishing deal five years ago?
"It pretty much boils down to the fact that I had stopped writing for myself. You get signed because of how you write for yourself. Then the energy shifts to writing songs for other people to record. At the end of my time at my last deal, my artistic vision had become basically nonexistent, and that terrified me. I knew I had to take a break."
What was it like to write songs for the show Nashville?
"Well, I only wrote one song specifically for the show at a songwriting event hosted by the show's producers on set. They gave us a rundown of the upcoming season so we could write toward it. They split us into groups, and I wrote 'From Here On Out' with Timothy James Bowen (actress Clare Bowen's brother) and Andrew Albert. The song ended up being the song Deacon sang to Rayna after they got married. The other three songs that made the show were written organically and chosen because they fit the scene. It was always special seeing them come to life on TV."
What does your songwriting process involve?
"Time. And lots of it. I've noticed, with this album especially, I generally have a concept that comes to me and then I kind of gather information until it's time to write it. I like to give the songs (and my brain) time to breathe and go where they need to go."
What are you doing to keep busy during Covid-19?
"Working my day job, mostly! It has maintained a sense of normalcy for me. I am fortunate to have been able to generate income during this weird time."
What does your dad think of the song "Daddy's Disappointment?"
"I think he's mostly happy that it's called attention to me as an artist. He thinks it's a good song. I'm just happy I can play it out and don't have to keep it under wraps."
Who are you listening to right now & who would you like to work with in the future?
"My most frequent listen lately is Ken Yates. I love his album Quiet Talkers that he released earlier this year. As for the future...wow! These are big goals, but I'd love to tour/collaborate with Jason Isbell, Patty Griffin, Phoebe Bridgers, Noah Gundersen, David Ramirez...my forever favorites."
How did you come up with the name for the album Autonomy?
"I had a list of potential titles, but the day "Autonomy" came to me, there was no turning back. Autonomy from the Music Row machine, from rigid religion, from societal and familial expectations, from my own critical voice...it just made sense."
What merch can fans expect to see in the near future?
"Perhaps Stephanie Lambring tissues?"
You recently released a music videos for the songs "Joy of Jesus," "Little White Lie," "Mr. Wonderful," and "Fine." What other songs on the album do you want to make music videos for?
"I have a video for "Pretty" in the works. Ideally, I'd love to have one for each song. I guess we are halfway there!"
What is your favorite song off of Autonomy and why?
"Probably 'Daddy's Disappointment' because that was the song that regenerated my creativity and set the bar for the level of honesty I wanted in my writing."
What made you first want to start making music?
"It's just in me. When I was young and shy with my singing, I would sing into the answering machine when no one was home. Now, I think writing and singing my own songs is a way for me to process and communicate what I have a hard time communicating in conversations in real life."
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only listen to one album, what would it be?
"Southeastern by Jason Isbell."
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