Posted on March 11th, 2024

Miranda Winters announced the debut album from her solo project as Mandy, Lawn Girl, will be released on April 26, 2024, via Exploding In Sound Records. She has also shared the infectious lead single, “High School Boyfriend,” alongside a video directed by Liam Winters with cinematography Marty Schousboe (Joe Pera Talks With You). From its squalling start to the rapidfire finish of its 2:08 runtime, the song is an instant anthem. “‘High School Boyfriend’ is a revenge fantasy song about the embarrassment of sincerity and waiting so long to say something that by the time it comes out you're yelling,” explains Winters. “It's a ballad for teenage girls everywhere.” Lawn Girl is now available for pre-order.

Winters, as the voice of Chicago’s much-loved noisemakers Melkbelly, has spent the past few years happily in her own shadow. While she has quietly written and occasionally released her own music for 15 years, she finally steps out into the bright light with the release of Lawn Girl. The album, a combination of older songs and newer creations, feels positively and endearingly alive–like a freeing of pent-up energy, an intimate rebuilding of the self. While Winters recorded and produced a number of the songs herself, she worked with Taylor Hales at Electrical Audio to feed those songs back into the studio, where they were re-recorded with room mics and worked back into the original versions. “I see it like photocopying,” she says of the process. “I’ve always loved working with photocopying and related printing techniques in my visual art because of the way everything decays and falls apart. It was nice to honor that on the record.”

Performed by an all-women band–Linda Sherman (guitar), Lizz Smith (bass) and Wendy Zeldin (drums)–the songs on Lawn Girl suitably find Winters ruminating on the idea of femininity; about her mom (who graces the album cover) and being a mother herself; her female friends; and what it means and what is required to make art and music in a female space intentionally.

She self-defines the breathlessly unraveling album as “dirty-bubblegum pop rock,” and while Mandy’s sound is packed full with such exhilaration, there are moments where the relentlessness relinquishes, instead offering up tender, yet equally weighty moments. Lawn Girl’s swirling amalgamation of noise and rock influences leans into its love of Veruca Salt, Sonic Youth, and Liz Phair, but never takes its eye off what’s buried just under the surface: the distinctive singer-songwriter style of Connie Converse, the hushed, scrappy bruising of Elliott Smith.

Equally adept when recalling teen love as it is about reflecting on the relentless complexities of adulthood, Lawn Girl feels like both a beginning and an end: a line in the sand moment for a songwriter who has never stopped questioning where they are and how they got here. “When I think of these songs all together, I see the color green,” Winters says. “I’m seeing green for the very clichéd reason that the record feels like a rebirth, or a turning point, or a transition into a new phase of life. Some of this material has been floating around with me for a while, and I feel that by packaging it all up, I can say goodbye and move forward.”

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