Posted on April 11th, 2024

Mandy–the solo project of Melkbelly’s Miranda Winters–today shared her new single “Forsythia,” the fiery, muscular opener of her forthcoming debut album, Lawn Girl. “This song is about the internal landscapes we create in response to our external locations. Forsythia (the shrub) has always shown up at the right times in my life – it’s easy to love and relate to because even at peak bloom it looks a little dirty. It's always somewhere in the background for me, follows me around,” she explains. “This song started in New Mexico but spends a lot of time in Providence RI, Wisconsin and Chicago.” “Forsythia” follows anthemic lead single “High School Boyfriend,” which saw praise from Rolling Stone (‘Songs You Need To Know’ playlist), Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, and more. Lawn Girl will be released on April 26th, 2024 via Exploding In Sound Records and is now available for pre-order.

Winters, as the voice of Chicago’s 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.

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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