It feels like Brandi Carlile hasn’t stepped out of the spotlight since her career-altering “By the Way, I Forgive You” album dropped back in early 2018. We’re not complaining, but it’s hard to believe that was already three-plus years ago.
Nevertheless, following a whirlwind period in which Carlile kept busy with all-star country collabs and best-selling memoirs, Washington’s new Grammy collector in chief is “back” with her highly anticipated follow-up.
This spring Carlile confirmed she and the Hanseroth twins had a new record in the can, but was otherwise light on specifics. On Wednesday, she announced her seventh studio album, “In These Silent Days,” will arrive Oct. 1 through Low Country Sound/Elektra Records, with lead single “Right On Time” out now.
For “In These Silent Days,” Carlile reassembled her newly minted Americana dream team, working with producers Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, with whom she cut “By the Way, I Forgive You.” (Hey, if it ain’t broke.) She and Jennings also teamed up on Tanya Tucker’s acclaimed comeback album “While I’m Livin’,” which accounted for a couple of those Grammys.
As is the case with many a 2021 album, the record was hatched during a year of lockdown on Carlile’s Maple Valley compound where she converted an old barn into a studio (though the album was recorded in Nashville). The songs were informed by revisiting her past while working on her “Broken Horses” memoir.
In a statement, the Maple Valley folk rocker and piano ballad slayer had this to say about the new record:
“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 armor 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.”
Directed by “Friends” star Courteney Cox, the cinematic video for “Right On Time” features a glammed-up Carlile, evoking David Bowie and her hero-buddy Elton John, solemnly walking through a theater’s backstage after the rapturous applause fades. Watch it below.