With the release of her debut full-length album, Heart on My Sleeve, Mary Lambert is hoping she’ll be known for more than her moving guest spot on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love.”
Lambert certainly makes her mark with the opening track and first single, “Secrets,” on which she confesses to being “bipolar,” “overweight,” “gay” and “passive aggressive.”
“I purposely bookended the record with ‘Secrets’ and ‘Sum of Our Parts,’” says Lambert, who performs at Club Red in Mesa on Sunday, November 9. “I wanted to say that you are worth more than any stigma. All of us carry beauty and all of us are worthy of love and acceptance and kindness.”
She chose to put the lens on herself to share that joy of unabashed, unapologetic self-love. But she didn’t always feel that way.
“There was a time in my life when I was guilty and ashamed of who I was because of my weight, the fact I was gay, clinically bipolar,” she says.
“I hated looking in the mirror. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t deserve that. I deserve to live fully and love fully and be accepted for who I am. That first step in acceptance comes from yourself.”
Recording such a personal album weighed heavily on Lambert, who is a staple on the Seattle spoken-word scene.
“There were definitely some songs where I was in the vocal booth crying and we had to pick the one take I wasn’t crying through,” she says frankly. “But it’s good. Crying is really cathartic and writing is really cathartic. The whole album was a reflection of my entire last year, which had growing pains. For me, my proudest moment as an artist is where I stand right now.”
Those feelings are evident during her live shows as well. She expects her performance at Club Red to be moving on several levels.
“Fans should expect a lot of feelings and just a really frickin’ good time,” she says with a laugh. “Similar to when someone hears the record, I want them to feel something at a show. I want them to be moved and feel whatever they’re hungry to feel—joy or grieving or sadness. I want someone to process what they need to process. I want to be a catalyst for that. But it’s fun. It’s part comedy show. I’m kind of a goofball.”
Mary Lambert w/Jillette Johnson, Club Red, 1308 W. University Drive, Mesa, 480.258.2733, clubredrocks.com, Sunday, November 9, 7 p.m., $15-$18