Album Reviews

Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

Artist:     Brandi Carlile

Album:     The Firewatcher's Daughter

Label:     ATO Records

Release Date:     03/03/2015


With four albums already under her belt and a fifth just released earlier this month, Brandi Carlile has proven to be a force of great musical talent, scoring four #1 chart-topping titles in ten years. Though the Washington state native has already more than proven her competence for this art, her latest record, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, continues to hold her in high esteem.

Embarking on her most collaborative album yet, Carlile is aided by twin brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth whom she’s been playing and singing with for over a decade. Together, the three gifted musicians craft a rocking, rolling, raving record with just enough emotion and plenty of charm. Carlile’s vocals are especially versatile on The Firewatcher’s Daughter: singing lines like “I have seen the Firewatcher’s daughter/Watching fires burn from smoke to black/There’s nothing she won’t burn/From Styrofoam to urns” on the eerie, old-Western track “The Stranger At My Door”, her voice vibrating with rustic intensity or on “Beginning to Feel the Years”, when her smooth, polished voice gently sings “Yesterday is long ago and far away/And I’m beginning to feel the years/But I’m going to be okay/As long as you’re beside me along the way”.

While Carlile’s voice and refined songwriting are enough to justify listening to the album, the pounding instrumentation and busy harmonies (that ambush listeners when we least expect it), the subtle falsettos and soft instrumental lines, all come together to make The Firewatcher’s Daughter one of Brandi Carlile’s best records to date.

– Savannah Davanzo

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