Brandi Carlile & the Twins’s “The Joke” is the official anthem for those of us who color outside of the lines and were never members of the cool clique. If someone ever took a swing at you or hurled hate your way, this is our song. Fuck ’em.
Brandi & the Twins’ new album, By the Way, I Forgive You, is situated at the crossroads of folk, country, rock’n’roll, and that weird Jeff Buckley thing (minus the theatrics). It feels reductive to call it Americana, but the record has sewn many of its threads into its tapestry, and at its center is a ball of emotion with its rawness sweetened and its sweetness freed from saccharine by the late Paul Buckmaster’s string arrangements. (Buckmaster did all the string arrangements on those great ’70s Elton John albums.) Tender, direct, in your face, sweet and bitter, not to mention pissed off (carefully contained), this is the album to play if life sucks and you want a reminder that somebody is ALIVE OUT THERE and doing the work that lets you know you might be too.
Here’s an excellent live version from the Jimmy Kimmel Show:
Here’s an awesome version performed on the The Howard Stern Show (audio only). Before playing, the band does a shot of Jameson!