Known for her emotional songwriting and concerts where "crying is acceptable and even encouraged," adult alternative musician Mary Lambert climbed into the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 when she joined hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on the hit single "Same Love" from their 2012 album The Heist. She followed that with her first book of poetry, 2013's <I>500 Tips for Fat Girls, and her Top 30 debut album, 2014's Heart on My Sleeve. Released in 2019, Grief Creature was an even more personal work that she referred to as "a breakup album to shame."
Born and raised in Seattle, Lambert graduated from the Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition, but even with one symphony piece for the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra on the books, she decided her future was in pop music and spoken word. Success with the latter came in 2011 when she was declared that year's Seattle Poetry Slam winner. 2012 saw her launch her music career with the EP Letters Don't Talk, which set her alongside influences like Tori Amos, Imogen Heap, Feist, and Sarah McLachlan. As fans of her confessional work, Macklemore & Lewis contacted Lambert for their gay marriage anthem "Same Love," a track from their multi-platinum album The Heist. "Same Love" was released as a single in 2012, and Lambert joined Macklemore & Lewis on tour through 2013. In 2013, she also published <I>500 Tips for Fat Girls, her first book of poetry, and by the end of the year she had issued her second EP, Welcome to the Age of My Body. Her profile got a further boost when she received two Grammy nominations. At the January 2014 award ceremony, she performed on-stage alongside Macklemore & Lewis and Madonna, while Queen Latifah read the marriage vows for 33 couples. Her first full-length, Heart on My Sleeve, was released later that year by Capitol and reached number 29 on the Billboard 200. After issuing a pair of stand-alone singles in 2016, Lambert presented the Bold EP in 2017.
Five years in the making and having undergone numerous incarnations before its release, her second studio album, Grief Creature, arrived on Tender Heart Records in 2019, a year after her book of poetry <I>Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across, a companion work of sorts. Written, produced, and arranged almost entirely by Lambert, Grief Creature's 17 tracks addressed depression, anxiety, and traumas relating to experiences with sexual assault and discrimination. Featured vocalists on the album included Macklemore, Julien Baker, and Hollis. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi