By Stephen L. Betts
Filed under: Exclusive, Story Behind the Song
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
"If you listen to our music, you know that we're not very good at keeping secrets," Miranda Lambert
tells The Boot of the true-to-life songs she and her Pistol Annies
cohorts, Ashley Monroe
and Angaleena Presley
have been writing together since a midnight phone call put the three of them in a room together for the first time.
Their debut album, Hell on Heels
, put country fans (and music critics) on notice in 2011, and although Miranda's fans were well aware of her penchant for truth-telling, the collection introduced a whole new group of followers to the forthright songs she has been crafting -- nearly nonstop -- with Ashley and Angaleena since their first writing session together. With their second album, Annie Up
, due May 7, Lone Star Annie (Miranda), Hippie Annie (Ashley) and Holler Annie (Angaleena) have laid themselves even more bare, tacking everything from dark family secrets ("Hush Hush") to wedded not-quite-bliss ("Unhappily Married") to who's really
in charge of keeping it all together ("Girls Like Us").