I can’t remember the last time I felt this excited to write about an album. Therefore, I will jump right in. Grammy-nominated Americana artist Brandi Carlile is incredible, and her newest record, By The Way, I Forgive You, will leave you shaken yet inspired. I don’t even know if I can express in words how much I love this album. Y’all just need to listen to it.
I’d never gotten into a lot of Brandi Carlile in the past, but I always knew that I liked her based on the few songs I’d heard. When my aunt recommended Brandi’s newest record, I gave it a listen, and was left unexpectedly stirred by her emotional lyrics, impeccable delivery, and unfiltered passion.
“Hold Out Your Hand”, the third track, was the first song that really grabbed my attention from the get go. Not only are the lyrics striking (the devil can’t have my soul), but the way in which she sings them exudes such an intense spirit that really makes the song what it is. Mumford & Sons-style verses give way to a driving chorus – definitely my favorite as of right now.
Another great one is “Every Time I Hear That Song”, the track that gives the record its name from the chorus lyrics. A classic Americana guitar-picking opener to the record, the lyrics on this ballad are so emotionally evocative – for example:
Now that’s twice you broke my heart now, the first was way back when
And to know you’re still unhappy only makes it break again
It’s evident that she makes an effort to be brutally honest through her writing, and this song is a beautiful illustration of that. I think that anyone who’s ever been in love and consequently experienced heartbreak will 100% relate to this one.
Honestly, every song on this record is phenomenal – it’s hard to even pick favorites. “The Joke” begins tenderly and then builds into a chorus melody that’ll touch your soul, and “Fulton County Jane Doe” has such a cool groove. “Party Of One”, the final track on the album, possesses a haunting quality, a delicate piano ballad decorated by orchestral fills that showcases Brandi’s arresting vocal talent and incomparable delivery.
This record is definitely one of my favorites from the year so far. In my opinion, Brandi is a step above the average artist because she makes music that is lyrically compelling, melodically unique, and musically moving, intertwining all of these elements to create masterpieces – I can name few other artists that achieve that all at once. If you are a fan of authentic Americana/folk-rock music, I highly recommend checking out this record, and the rest of Brandi Carlile’s catalogue in fact. You will not be disappointed.
Much love y’all, happy listening!
LISTEN TO MY NEW SONG: “Vinegar & Time”
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