Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher’s Daughter (Album Review)

It’s here! And it’s magnificent! Brandi Carlile’s fifth studio album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, was just released via ATO Records and it sure is somethin’ else. Recorded almost entirely as first takes without any demoing and little rehearsal, The Firewatcher’s Daughter is an unparalleled display of musical brillance.

We throw around the word “wail” so easily when it comes to big voices, but Brandi’s wail is a true, heart-in-throat keen so full of emotion it sounds on the verge of breaking yet so strong it deftly bends every note to her whim. And her longtime collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth (a.k.a. “The Twins.”) are with her every glorious step of the way.

“Wherever is Your Heart,” “Beginning to Feel the Years,” “Wilder (We’re Chained)” and the string-accented “I Belong to You” are the kind of beautiful ballads that would tug heartstrings no matter who sang them, but Brandi’s supernatural voice lifts them up to a celestial realm.

The album’s first single, “The Eye,” finds Brandi reigning in her extraordinarily big voice for gentler, sun-drenched, pop-folk harmonies.

“Things I Regret” is a deceptively uptempo, high energy road song that quickly builds, gaining momentum like a steam engine til the roaring finale.

Then “Mainstream Kid” throws a quaking, blues-rock stick of absolute dynamite on the tracks and blows the whole thing to hell. This woman can make Hendrix, Skynyrd, Ram Jam and Nirvana sound like soft jazz!

“Alibi” stays at full throttle rock level, but there’s an unexpected, subtle undercurrent of summery, California pop to the chorus melody that gives it a catchy and slightly disorienting swirl.

“The Stranger at My Door” is an intoxicating, mesmeric gulp of noir, a phantasmagoric masterpiece that bends the mind as much it does genre…like Johnny Cash fronting Led Zeppelin in a David Lynch movie then Trans-Siberian Orchetra jumps on stage to close with a freakin’ rock riff of “When Johnny Comes Marchin’ Home Again!” It is one of the greatest, most deliciously unusual songs ever constructed. Wow, just wow.

The album closes with a fitting cover of The Avett Brothers’ “Murder in the City.”

There is truly no one like Brandi Carlile at her fierce, brilliant best. She’s somehow simultaneously the heir to The Beatles, Janis Joplin and The Man in Black. I’ll be shocked if The Firewatcher’s Daughter isn’t my #1 album come December.

Buy @ Amazon

Brandi Carlile Official Site

Brandi Carlile: New Album Announcement & Song “The Eye” !

Brandi Carlile just announced the forthcoming release of her fifth studio album. The Firewatcher’s Daughter will be released via ATO Records on March 3, 2015. The exquisite first single, “The Eye,” finds Brandi reigning in her extraordinarily big voice for gentler, sun-drenched, pop-folk harmonies.

The Firewatcher’s Daughter’s track list:

1 Wherever Is Your Heart
2 The Eye
3 The Things I Regret
4 Mainstream Kid
5 Beginning To Feel The Years
6 Wilder (We’re Chained)
7 Blood Muscle Skin & Bone
8 I Belong To You
9 Alibi
10 The Stranger At My Door
11 Heroes And Songs
12 Murder In The City

Buy @ Amazon (available March 3rd)

Brandi Carlile: Free Live at Bear Creek EP Download

To celebrate the release of her new album, Bear Creek (click title for our review), Brandi Carlile is giving away a free, legal download of her Live at Bear Creek companion EP. You can access the mp3s by entering your email address into the NoiseTrade widget below.

Muruch Album Review

Buy Album @ Amazon

Brandi Carlile Official Site

Brandi Carlile: New Song Download

Brandi Carlile covered Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” exclusively for a new Tiffany & Co. campaign, but they’re making the song available as a free, legal download to everyone. Nab it at the link below…

Brandi Carlile – Blue Skies (click for download page)

Buy Brandi’s Music @ Amazon

Brandi Carlile Official Site

Brandi Carlile: Bear Creek

Guest Post By: Brendan

Brandi Carlile‘s fourth studio release, Bear Creek, will be released on June 5th. As an enthusiastic fan of Brandi’s music, I was eager to hear her new album and subsequently disappointed that it fails to live up to her past glory. Brandi wanted to get in touch with her country roots on Bear Creek, and that may be why I don’t connect with it as much as her previous work. Brandi has such an extraordinary voice, it seems wasted on songs that would present no challenge to a weaker female country singer. Bear Creek allows only a few opportunities for Brandi to display the passionate range that made me fall in love with her voice and her music.

Bear Creek opens with a catchy country message and vibe on “Hard Way Home.”

The bluesy, gospel-tinged “Raise Hell” follows and is by far the best track on the album. Inspired by Brandi’s emotional response to turning 30, it plays like an amped up classic murder ballad. Brandi’s voice soars on the chorus and her band sounds like a runaway freight train. It’s an infectious, exhilarating song that more than makes Bear Creek worth a listen, but also exemplifies the wasted opportunity of the album as a whole.

Other highlights include “Keep Your Heart Young,” “I’ll Still Be There” and “What Did I Ever Come Here For.”

The set comes to a remarkable conclusion with “Just Kids,” a plaintive lament to the lost innocence of childhood which seems sadly out of place on this album. It’s a haunting song with a gorgeous chorus which continues to echo long after the album is over. The wonderful conclusion of nature sounds evokes memories of a simpler time.

I like about 50% of this album and love a couple of the songs, which might warrant a completely good review for other acts. It’s certainly better than most modern releases and I hate to be less than complimentary to such a talented artist. But Brandi’s preceeding work was so sterling, I can’t help but hold her to a higher standard.


Brandi Carlile Official Site