Stephanie Lambring’s Autonomy is an as-you-see-it experience. The Americana artist’s upcoming LP, due out 23 October, argues for the power of choice above all else. In the process, societal norms—as they pertain to religion, sexuality, body image, and more—are challenged. Heavy topics are looked back upon with logical precision, with a resolution of self-drive standing with aplomb at every corner. Her new single, “Fine”, is a confident expression of this overarching theme of independence. Directed by Iris Dutour, its accompanying lyric video sweeps through gorgeous and varied landscapes, the empowering anthem driving proceedings forward.
For Lambring, “Fine” recalls her feelings towards marriage and romance. She recalls, “At my grandmother’s funeral a few years ago, a relative said to me, ‘Stephy, now we just have to get you married!’ The dreaded, inevitable comment at every family gathering.”
“I’ve never fantasized about spending forever with one person. I get anxious just saying that because it feels so counter-cultural. In college, I’d joke, ‘I’m not going to get married until I’m 30—that’s eight fewer years of forever!’ It’s always been there on some level. Until my early 30s, I always assumed I would get married. I dreaded hitting milestones with boyfriends and constantly over-analyzed my relationships. The clock was ticking, and I thought I ‘should’ve’ been thinking about taking the next step. The only pull—or push—I felt toward marriage was external pressure.
“Looking back, I think that most of my aspirations to get married revolved around some ultimate seal of approval. If someone loves you enough to marry you, you’re officially deemed socially acceptable. You’re enough. And you don’t have to worry about those invasive questions or comments anymore.
“I think marriage can be a beautiful thing. I also think we should allow space for the super-individualistic types without the weighted whispers surrounding their singledom. And space for everyone to change their minds if they so choose. I consider myself a free spirit with an anxious mind. My mind seeks safety in the rigidity of the black and white, but my spirit craves the adventure of the gray, the nuance, the out-of-the-box. The freedom.
“This song is a conversation between my mind and my spirit. A couple of years of good therapy taught me to pay attention to the message I actually heard and then to ask myself what I needed to hear. This is what I needed to hear. Maybe someone else does, too.
“One more note—I hate any combination of the words ‘waste’ and ‘time’ and think they have caused worlds of needless anguish. Whether it’s a relationship or a career path or a spiritual journey, every experience is important. Formative. There is no deadline to live out our stories.”