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In These Silent Days

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released October 1, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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For nearly 13 years Brandi Carlile was a cult favorite with a loyal fanbase before her big mainstream breakout moment in 2018 with her sixth album By the Way, I Forgive You Since then, she's become a bona-fide celebrity with a best-selling memoir, a celebrated supergroup (the Highwomen), six Grammys and a slew of A-list friends who pop up on her charming Instagram account. She's been name-checked by Barack Obama as a favorite, produced a record for Tanya Tucker, performed Joni's Blue in its entirety in concert, and released duets with Alicia Keys and Sam Smith. There's a lot riding on her follow-up album, and In These Silent Days is a knockout on a par with such classics as Tapestry, Madman Across the Water, Leon Russell, and Blue. In fact, there are shades of all those records here. It opens with the piano drama of "Right On Time," a gorgeous, sweeping ballad that's a showcase for her powerhouse voice (much like 2018's "The Joke"). The excellent "Letter to My Past" sounds like a love letter to Elton John circa 1971, while "You and Me on the Rock" is practically a tribute to Joni Mitchell's sunny early '70s jangle folk—and both are absolutely perfect. "Rock" also shows off Carlile's Bernie Taupin-level poetry: "I built paper planes when I learned to fly/ Like a 747 falling out of the sky/ I folded them crooked and now I'm wondering why/ I could always end up in the water." Carlile, who created the album with longtime bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth, worked while holed up at her Washington State "compound" during COVID lockdowns and as she was penning her stirring memoir. She has said all the "uncertainty" led her to more "dramatic" places of her brain. You hear it in the stark, spine-shivering "Mama Werewolf": "Your mama is a werewolf with long sharp teeth/ I'm up all night when the world should sleep ... If my good intentions go running wild/ If I cause you pain, my own sweet child/ Won't you promise me you'll be the one/ My silver bullet in the gun." It all feels intensely personal and you might sigh with relief when she later gives her daughters the buttery lullaby "Stay Gentle." Stripped-down "This Time Tomorrow" could've been a Highwomen outtake, "Broken Horses" is rollicking Southern rock, and "Sinners, Saints and Fools" uses strings and punchy percussion like bright spotlights on Carlile's darkest corners, before going out with a wild, arena-rock flash. The album ends in the same dramatic fashion it started, with "Throwing Good After Bad"—a heartbreaker of a piano ballad that nods at all those aforementioned '70s album influences. "Are you fantasizing?/ You're taken us for granted/ I know you're bored/ You always say I'm heavy-handed," she sings and pulls at heartstrings. It's at once so personal you might blush and so universal you might cry. Stunning. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Right on Time

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released September 24, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Right on Time

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released August 27, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Maybe We Never Die

Anderson East

Pop - Released August 20, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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On his 2016 debut, Anderson East went full Stax—diving head-first into the horn-heavy Memphis R&B of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, while adding on a few country music flourishes. For his latest, Maybe We Never Die, East embraces disco and sexy '80s soul with a more modern attitude. His full-bodied, slightly husky, do-anything voice is, of course, the star, but the album also finds East in a place of real introspection. Feel-good "Drugs," complete with flute trills, is dance-floor disco à la Silk Sonic. East ponders why society can't deal with reality, instead placating with social media, religion and a million other distractions (including, of course, actual drugs): "Everybody's on drugs/ 'Cause the world behind our eyes/ Is better in disguise/ So we try to keep the feelings numb.” He's guilty of it too, finding solace in the "high" of love on "Madelyn" and its swooning '80s-style soul. "I Hate You" starts out musically and lyrically stark—"Should've stuck with alcohol but you had to have that Adderall"—before it explodes into a plaintive gospel cry: "Baby I love you more than I hate you." The moody title track finds East reaching for the stars, his voice hitting the way-up-there notes to a strings accompaniment as he gets existential. He has said the song, the creation of which began while he was floating in a sensory deprivation tank, is partly about his grandmother's struggles with Alzheimer's. "I started thinking … 'What's the point of bettering yourself, if at the end of your life, your mental hard drive starts to fail?'" But after the opening lyrics— "Heavy as a car crash/ Thought I could take the impact"—the POV gets more hopeful: There has to be more to life than just an arc that ends in fault and failure. On the evocative "Hood of My Car," which practically vibrates with reverb-heavy '80s rhythms and almost-cheesy backing vocals that would make John Mayer jealous, East paints a scene of pure, baby-making longing: telling a lover he wants to get with her right there in the parking lot, on top of the car. The Timberlake-eque "Falling" hits hard with crisp percussion, trampoline-bounce bass and funky guitar stutter. "If You Really Love Me" is an act of abundance, with horns and strings blaring, blasting and punching through the haze. The whole thing ends on the wild and wonderful "Interstellar Outer Space," East's voice unfurling and cracking in a way we've never heard before. This isn't a man worried about impressing, but in finding the meaning of life. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Right on Time

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released July 21, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Hood of My Car

Anderson East

Pop - Released July 14, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Speak Your Mind (from the Netflix Series "We The People")

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released July 2, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Drugs

Anderson East

Pop - Released May 19, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Madelyn

Anderson East

Pop - Released April 7, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Take Me Home, Country Roads

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released February 7, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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A Rooster Says

Brandi Carlile

Pop - Released January 1, 2021 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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A Song to Remember

A Thousand Horses

Country - Released November 17, 2020 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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A Song to Remember

A Thousand Horses

Country - Released July 17, 2020 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Drinking Song

A Thousand Horses

Country - Released January 10, 2020 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Livin' My Best Life

A Thousand Horses

Country - Released October 11, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Feet Off The Ground (feat. Jade Bird)

Brent Cobb

Country - Released September 13, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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The Highwomen

The Highwomen

Country - Released September 6, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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The country supergroup of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby—the Highwomen—mercifully isn't about girl power. Theirs is a show of strength by four grown-ass women and their mighty voices. They harmonize like nobody's business (the '80s-tinged "Redesigning Women," rodeo-sweetheart track "Heaven Is a Honky Tonk") but it's just as fun when they trade verses, as on the wickedly swinging "My Name Can't Be Mama" and lonesome-West title track, co-written with Jimmy Webb (who composed "Highwayman," made famous by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who adopted the moniker in 1985 for their quartet). Morris takes center stage for "Loose Change," highlighting her clever-metaphor lyrics: "I'm gonna be somebody's lucky penny someday / instead of rolling around your pocket like loose change." Carlile exudes star power for the excellent "Wheels of Laredo" and "If She Ever Leaves Me"—a claim-staking weepie told from a lesbian POV. While not as famous, Shires ("Don't Call Me," a real spitfire) and Hemby (the Anne Murray-esque "My Only Child") prove much more than supporting players. And when all four voices come together with no solo turns for the angelic "Crowded Table," it's truly a high. © Qobuz
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Highwomen

The Highwomen

Country - Released August 13, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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The Chain

The Highwomen

Film Soundtracks - Released August 2, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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Crowded Table

The Highwomen

Country - Released July 25, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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