Brandi Carlile - The Firewatcher's Daughter

In the three years since she released Bear Creek, Brandi Carlile has been on the road, evolving her relatively stripped down show to a completely unplugged live experience - no speakers or electrics of any kind. It’s an interesting experiment that she’s used in the back-to-basics videos released to support the lead tracks from The Firewatcher’s Daughter. Staying true to the concept of using natural surroundings and live takes on this her fifth album – all the songs were recorded with no demos or practice – gives the songs a fresh, organically-produced feel.

The Firewatcher’s Daughter continues the folk-rock vibe that’s been a constant for Carlile, ably assisted - as always - by co-writers Tim and Phil Hanseroth, who sing and play on every track. There are deviations though: the hard rocking ‘Mainstream Kid’ for example, while the indie rock of ‘Blood Muscle Skin & Bones’ and ‘Alibi’ quicken the pace. Thematically, due to the Hanseroth’s and Carlile's recent, separate, additions to their families means a focus on relationships throughout - the sweet ‘Wilder (We’re Chained)’ conveys the bond between parent and child; the regret-laden ‘The Stranger At The Door’ and surprisingly buoyant ‘Things I Regret’ riff on missed chances. A version of the Avett Brothers’ ‘Murder In The City’ closes with a plea for love over revenge. And that epitomises the feeling here: one of love and positivity whilst being mindful of the past. The Washington state singer exudes joy and freedom, able to properly express herself in her natural environment.

Overall

An excellent follow-up to the well received 'Bear Creek' should enhance Carlile's profile even further.

8

out of 10

Last updated: 06/08/2018 17:20:47

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