Posted on April 22nd, 2024

Mandy, the solo project of Chicago-based Miranda Winters (Melkbelly), today has shared her cover of Jimmy Webb’s “Now That I’m a Woman.” The muted, stripped-back track–out now alongside a Bart Winters-directed video–is the latest single from her forthcoming new album Lawn Girl, out this Friday, April 26th, via Exploding In Sound Records. “‘Now That I'm a Woman’ is a cover of a song from one of the greatest movies ever made, The Last Unicorn,” Winters explains. “When Molly Grue meets the unicorn she says, ‘Where were you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?’ For me, this is a song about coming to terms with life and commiserating (with Lady Amalthea, you know, the unicorn transformed and trapped in the body of a mortal woman). I recorded this song when I was especially sick because I like the sound of a heavy vocal fold.” “Now That I’m a Woman” follows advance singles “High School Boyfriend” and “Forsythia,” which have earned support from Rolling Stone (Songs You Need playlist), Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, and more. 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.

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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