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Albums Of The Week: Brandi Carlile | In These Silent Days

The singer-songwriter's lockdown album looks inward — and rocks out a bit too.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Only a global pandemic could have forced Brandi Carlile to hit pause. After two hard-fought decades-in-the-making, Carlile was in the midst of experiencing the biggest highs of her acclaimed career thus far. From a show-stealing debut at the 61st Grammy Awards, to her first sold-out arena show at Madison Square Garden, to an ever-growing number of awards and accolades, all-star collaborations and countless other staggering achievements.

Finding herself stuck at home outside of Seattle in the rural foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Carlile had no choice but to slow down, reassess and realign her priorities. Luckily for Carlile, home happens to be a 90-acre compound shared with not only her wife Catherine and two daughters, but also her chosen family: longtime collaborators and bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth as well as her cello player Josh Neumann among an ever-growing contingency.

It was during this time that In These Silent Days took shape. Inspired by the mining of her own history while writing her best-selling memoir Broken Horses, the new 10-song record chronicles acceptance, faith, loss and love and channels icons like David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Elton John and Joni Mitchell — the latter two who, by some sort of cosmic alignment of the stars, have turned out to be close friends in addition to being her biggest heroes and inspirations.

Reuniting with producers Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, the album takes Carlile’s voice and pushes it to even greater heights and dramatic peaks. From the anthemic first single Right On Time to the intimately romantic You and Me On The Rock and the blistering Broken Horses, the songs tell a story of connection and empathy in the midst of distance and estrangement and showcase an artist continuing to push herself and widen her arms around an inclusive, ever-growing island of misfits.

“Never before have the twins and I written an album during a time of such uncertainty and quiet solitude. I never imagined that I’d feel so exposed and weird as an artist without the armour of a costume, the thrill of an applause and the platform of the sacred stage. Despite all this, the songs flowed through — pure and unperformed, loud and proud, joyful and mournful. Written in my barn during a time of deep and personal reckoning. There’s plenty reflection … but mostly it’s a celebration. This album is what drama mixed with joy sounds like. It’s resistance and gratitude, righteous anger and radical forgiveness. It’s the sound of these silent days.”