Miranda Lambert Returns to ‘Dark Bars’ in Live New Song [WATCH]
Miranda Lambert performed songs from her forthcoming new album, Wildcard, during an industry-only show at Nashville's Exit/In on Monday (Sept. 23). In between songs, she addressed the crowd, revealing snapshots of the stories that led to each song on the project being written.
Over and over again, the songs seemed to find Lambert returning to the fearless, country-charged performance style that characterized her early recordings, such as on her 2005 debut studio album, Kerosene. None of the new tracks better exemplified that spirit than "Dark Bars," the set's penultimate song and the album's closer. Press play above to watch Lambert's live rendition of the track, as first reported by Billboard.
The singer has been performing much of the new album live for the last few months, but Monday night's show marked the first time she played "Dark Bars" in front of an audience. "I've never played this song live before. It's one of my favorites on the record," Lambert explained.
"I was in New York. I've been spending a lot of time there because I married a Staten Island man who is an NYPD officer," the singer continued, recalling the circumstances that led to her writing the song. "I've been spending a lot of time in SoHo, we have an apartment with a fire escape. I was feeling creative, and I texted [songwriter] Liz Rose, 'Come to New York.'"
Liz Rose agreed to the trip, along with fellow writers Hilary Lindsey and Lori Mckenna -- a group that Lambert has long referred to as the Love Junkies. "We went and had cheeseburgers and we sat on a fire escape and smoked cigs out the window. It's an artist community, so I felt there was art there and we should hone in on it. Liz got there early, and she came to my house. She was on the way in the car, and I said, 'Let's just go hang out in some dark bars and see if we can find some stories to write about.'
"She goes, 'I think that is the story,'" Lambert continues.
One of the record's most evocative moments, "Dark Bars" describes the story of a woman who has returned to the "Dark Bars" that she used to haunt -- but this time, on her own terms. "I'm not in pain / I'm not on pills / But I'm still hanging out in dark bars," she sings in the chorus. "...I know a thing or two about broken hearts / Neon truth can get real hard / In a dark bar."
Wildcard drops in full on Nov. 1. Lambert has previously shared several songs off of the project, including its first single, "It All Comes Out in the Wash" -- another song co-written with the Love Junkies.
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