After migrating to Nashville from her native Washington State, while releasing own records over the last decade, Brandy Clark has forged her way in the world as one of Country’s leading songwriters. That makes it no surprise her eponymous album boasts 11 stellar tracks, but what catches you off guard is how this talented songwriter who has penned tracks for Miranda Lambert, Reba McIntire, Darius Rucker, Kacey Musgraves and more, has successfully morphed into a genre-bending artist with a style that is uniquely her on this career-defining record.
Over the course of her career, Clark has been nominated for 11 Grammys and won a CMA Song of the Year award in 2014 for “Follow Your Heart,” but she credits another Pacific Northwest native, producer Brandi Carlile (who has 9 Grammys of her own) for pushing her out of her self-imposed limits, reaching for even greater heights on Brandy Clark. “When Brandi and I sat down and talked about working together, one thing that really intrigued me was her saying ‘I see it as your return to the northwest,’” remembers Clark. That spurred her to write two of Brandy Clark’s standout tracks, “Northwest” and “She Smoked In The House,” but it was another of Carlile’s contributions that made this a collection of standouts, with textural, thematic and musical adventure throughout.
“Working with another recording artist (Carlile) on this project was such a gift that I didn’t even know I needed and changed the way I want to write songs and make records moving forward. My hope is that anyone who hears this album will feel the heart that I put into every note of it.”
Additional contributions from Lucius (“Tell Her You Don’t Love Her”) and Derek Trucks (“Ain’t Enough Rocks”), as well as Carlile’s appearance on “Dear Insecurity,” enhance the dynamics of an album already rich in sonic and emotional highs and lows. WFPK, WMOT and WEXT are among the stations stepping out on Brandy Clark, leading the way for those to follow.
Photo by Chris Phelps