Brandi Carlile Has Arrived In Her Truest Form Yet In Contemplative New Album, 'In These Silent Days' • Volume
brandi carlile, brandi carlile new album, brandi carlile in these silent days, in these silent days, brandi carlile tour, brandi carlile shows, brandi carlile new music, brandi carlile music, in these silent days brandi carlile, brandi carlile tickets, brandi carlile tour, brandi carlile 2022 tour

Written by: Jocelyn Van Saun | Photo(s) by: Hanna Hanseroth

Brandi Carlile Has Arrived In Her Truest Form Yet In Contemplative New Album, ‘In These Silent Days’

If you thought Brandi Carlile’s 2018 breakout album, By the Way, I Forgive You, would be her career peak, her seventh album, In These Silent Days says otherwise.

Although In These Silent Days, released October 8th, refers to the year of solitude Carlile spent writing most of the 10-track album with bandmates and fellow songwriters, bassist Tim Hanseroth and guitarist Phil Hanseroth, or as Carlile lovingly calls them, “The Twins” or her “chosen family,” the album is anything but stagnant. Rather, it’s the ultimate display of Carlile’s aptitude for range, transitioning flawlessly from power ballad to rock anthem to songbird-like lullaby and back again, with Carlile sounding as deliberate and assured in her screams as she does in her fluttery melodies. She draws clear influence from ’70s rock moguls, like Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and The Who, throughout while remaining authentically Brandi.

Much of Carlile’s inspiration for the album came while writing her New York Times Best-Selling memoir, Broken Horses, which was released in April. Carlile’s narrative offers readers an intimate look at her life, from a penurious childhood through an adolescence spent at odds with her sexuality in conflict with her faith – a tension heightened by her pastor publicly refusing to baptize her on the day of the ceremony after she came out as gay at 15 – until where she is today. By taking the time to expound on the unresolved feelings uncovered during the writing process, Carlile and The Twins created what they say is the most honest, intentional album the trio has ever written, tackling some of the most universal qualms and simplistic pleasures of the human experience – from the fears of parenthood and political indignation, to domestic bliss and good old-fashioned heartbreak.


In These Silent Days opens with the lead single, “Right On Time,” a piano-rich ballad in which Carlile showcases her signature Grammy-high note, reflects on a love gone wrong, and pleads for forgiveness, insisting that, “It’s not too late, either way.”

“Right On Time” (Official Video) – Brandi Carlile


[Video: Brandi Carlile]

In the Joni-inspired, “You and Me On The Rock,” Carlile sings of marital bliss and the life she’s formed with her family – her foundation, her rock. The lyrics paint a whimsical picture of Carlile wearing some overalls and a straw hat, pulling up radishes with an eye on the driveway, waiting for her wife, Catherine Shepherd to walk into view, singing, “Me out in my garden and you out on your walk is all the distance this poor girl can take without listenin’ to you talk.” In this lyrical picture and in reality, the pair live in a small mountain town outside of Seattle, Washington on what they call the “compound” with their two daughters, Evangeline and Elijah. Phil lives next door with his wife, and Carlile’s sister, Tiffany, and their two children. An ATV-ride away are Tim, his wife, and their two kids, as well as Carlile’s cello player, Josh Neumann, and his wife Sarah, who is Catherine’s sister.

Mid-album, Carlile lets off some serious steam in “Broken Horses,” which crescendos quickly into a full on rocker, saturated with defiance, resentment, and exasperation. “I’m a tried and weathered woman, but I won’t be tried again,” Carlile proclaims, as if to challenge her adversaries and galvanize her allies. From here, Carlile’s pitch doesn’t miss a beat, resting only for a moment in the chorus where she almost exhales, “Only broken horses know to run,” making the line out to be a truth that Carlile has found peace and reprieve in.

In 2018’s By The Way, I Forgive You, Carlile sang “The Mother” about experiencing motherhood for the first time with the birth of her eldest daughter, Evangeline. This time around, Carlile is singing to her daughters. “Stay Gentle” calls on her girls and a younger generation at large to “find joy in the darkness,” hold on to childish wonder, and stave off the instinct to grow “callous” and “hardened” with age. “Letter to the Past” is a love song, which Carlile sings to both a younger version of herself and the parts of whom she now sees in Evangeline. “Mama Werewolf” is a sinister confession, in which Carlile asks that her daughters hold her accountable should the fear that she’ll pass down the same demons her parents did onto her be realized, singing, “If my good intentions go runnin’ 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.”

Carlile takes us home with “Throwing Good After Bad,” an all-too-relatable breakup exposé ripe with meticulous metaphors -“You want a movie dancer. You want blood from a stone” – and unapologetic accusations – “You’re fantasizin’. You’re takin’ us for granted. I know you’re bored.”

It didn’t take long following its release for In These Silent Days to garner widespread praise and reach #1 on the all-genre U.S. iTunes sales chart.

In an interview with Apple Music, Carlile told New Zealand DJ and producer, Zane Lowe, that her success has always been relative and, in turn, feels just as exciting today as it did in the beginning.

“I thought I was a rock star when I was in karaoke contests,” she mused. “… I just always thought I’d arrived every step of the way.”


Those steps were measured. From singing backup for an Elvis impersonator as a child to eventually busking at Pike Place Market and later releasing her self-titled debut album in 2005, it was always clear that Carlile is a rare talent, with her raspy, yet robust voice and uninhibited songwriting. But it was the past three years or so that really put her on the map.

Following the release of By the Way, I Forgive You and Carlile’s celebrated 2019 Grammy performance of the album’s prize single, “The Joke,” the now six-time Grammy award winner was launched from the confines of the country-Americana genre into a household name. But the acclaim and accolades never seem to go to Carlile’s head.

“As [success has] changed and these arrivals have come to me,” Carlile told Lowe, “It’s the same feeling as being 21 and getting a record deal.”

She emanates humility, but none of these “arrivals” have come to Carlile by chance. Through some true grit and a fervent dedication to her craft, she’s made formidable strides in the industry, all while sharing in the glow of her success as she goes. From forming Americana supergroup, The Highwomen and curating the first-ever all-female headlining set to play the Newport Folk Festival in 2019 to performing Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” album live in its entirety – which she’ll do again at Carnegie Hall in November, co-producing Tanya Tucker’s comeback album, While I’m Livin, after the country star’s 17-year hiatus from music, and co-hosting star-studded jam sessions with Joni attended by some of the biggest names in the industry – Elton John, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Rait, Chaka Khan, Harry Styles, Marcus Mumford, Phoebe Bridgers, Hozier, and Maggie Rogers, to name a few – The list goes on.


There’s no telling what Carlile will achieve next, but whatever it may be, let’s hope it makes her feel like a 21-year old rockstar scoring her first record deal.

Stream In These Silent Days below and on all streaming platforms here. For additional information and for a list of upcoming tour dates, visit her website.