She’ll always be country, but Miranda Lambert has a newfound appreciation for city life.
That’s all thanks to her husband of nine months, NYPD officer Brendan McLoughlin. “I love the city. My heart is in Texas and Tennessee, but my husband has opened my eyes to a whole new world,” Lambert tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, opening up about her new album Wildcard, out today, and happy life now.
While the star, 36, who now has a Manhattan apartment with McLoughlin, had experienced New York City long before meeting the Staten Island native last November, the Big Apple feels different these days.
“I’ve been to New York so many times, but I’ve only worked,” she explains. “I’ve never just gotten to like hang out and wander the city and really take in what that is, good and bad. There’s these crazy awesome rock bars and graffiti, I really enjoy it.”
All that said, “It does drain your energy,” admits Lambert. “Spending a lot of time here, I start to get anxiety and stress, and go, ‘Okay, that’s three days. No more sirens. I’m good’… That’s why going back to the farm refuels me. When I was younger, I used to thrive on more noise and more going and more people. It’s opposite now. I need the quiet versus the noise.”
Back at her farm near Nashville, “I’ve got bunnies and horses and dogs, cats, and I just can wear no makeup and be in the same clothes for three days,” she says. “They don’t care. It’s just really a place where I can regroup.”
Thankfully, she has a husband, 28, who’s happy to move around. “My husband is very open and happy to travel and could be ready to go anywhere in 15 minutes,” says Lambert of McLoughlin, who’s currently joining her on tour while he takes leave from the police force. “I love that. Kind of met a kindred spirit there.”
That’s surely not the only thing she loves about her “8-pack abs”-having new love. “I’m a creeper wife,” she says with a smirk, referring to the playful photos she sneaks and posts of him on social media. “I creep on him doing things shirtless and use it for my own benefit.”
As for their differences, McLoughlin’s a fitness buff whereas Lambert admits she’s “terrified” of gyms. But the two are influencing one another in the best ways.
“He helps me because he’s so energetic and he’ll push me,” says Lambert of their joint sweat sessions. But on the other hand, “I think I’m helping him realize that, that’s great and all, but that’s not what defines you. You’re very genetically blessed and I’m happy for you, but who you are isn’t what you look like.”
And if there’s ever an argument, “Good luck buddy,” says Lambert with a laugh, adding, “I’m a true Scorpio.”
Lambert’s new album Wildcard is available now on all streaming services. For more on Miranda Lambert’s new music and happy newlywed life, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
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