Brandy Clark is known more for her songwriting, but she is also a talented singer who has received much critical acclaim. I am excited to feature her on this Female Friday.
How You Might Know Brandy
She’s known for her songwriting, often in connection with Kacey Musgraves and Shane McAnally. These three have co-written many of Kacey’s songs, but perhaps their most notable success is the Miranda Lambert hit “Mama’s Broken Heart.”
From Brandy Clark’s Web site:
“I get my inspiration from real people who are just surviving their life and getting through their day. That’s who I write songs for,” Clark explains. “I want to write songs for somebody who is working at a bank — if that person could write a song, what they would write. That’s my goal.”
Brandy Clark (born October 9, 1977, from Morton, Washington), was interested in music at an early age. She grew up with and was influenced by the music of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Merle Haggard. After college, she began taking her music career more seriously. She enrolled at Belmont University in 1998 and studied commercial music. After graduation from Belmont, Brandy got a job with Leadership Music and eventually received a publishing deal.
Brandy has written many notable songs over the years. I already mentioned “Mama’s Broken Heart,” but she also co-wrote The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” and Kacey Musgraves’s “Follow Your Arrow.” Brandy is cited on songs by Reba McEntire, Keith Urban, Wade Bowen, and Sunny Sweeney, just to name a few. In fact, it is worth noting that Brandy was a co-writer of Sunny Sweeney’s “Bad Girl Phase,” which I mentioned in Sunny’s
Female Friday as being the first #1 single by a female artist on the Texas Music Chart. Since this column is about promoting females, it is also worth mentioning that Brandy Clark and Kacey Musgraves became two of only fourteen women to win a CMA for Song of the Year when “Follow Your Arrow” received this distinction in 2014. in Between all the writing for others, Brandy wrote several songs that eventually turned into an EP in 2012 and later into her debut album, 12 Stories, in 2013.
“I was just writing songs. But with titles like ‘Take a Little Pill’ and ‘Day She Got Divorced,’ artists wouldn’t cut those songs. However, they are some of my favorites and, artistically, I fit them,” says Clark , who decided to record her own album after playing “Get High” for her songwriting partner Shane McAnally. “Shane said that I could write a whole record of songs from that woman’s perspective and make an album that no one has ever made. That’s kind of what we did.”
And that’s what her debut album is–an album no one else would make, full of real “stories” of real people. 12 Stories was named by many critics as 2013’s best album–in fact, there are many who would argue that Brandy Clark deserves more recognition than her friend Kacey Musgraves (I am not touching that debate.) Brandy Clark is currently working on her second album; it is due out in 2016.
Why Brandy Belongs on Country Radio
She belongs there for the same reason that Kacey Musgraves does–she’s singing and writing real, relatable songs, and she’s not afraid of the truth. Radio won’t play Kacey for all of these reasons, and also she is too “country.” Brandy is too “country” for country radio too, and the fact that I have to even write this sentence is ridiculous. Brandy Clark was partly responsible for “Mama’s Broken Heart,” “Better Dig Two,” and “Follow Your Arrow,” but country radio can’t give her own music a fair chance? I don’t even know how to explain why she belongs on country radio–because in a world where country radio played country songs, Brandy Clark would be on the radio and making #1 hits.
Tracks I Recommend
I hesitate to pick apart what many consider to be the best album of 2013, but these are my personal favorites.
1. What’ll Keep Me Out of Heaven–12 Stories
2. Hold my Hand–12 Stories
3. Pray to Jesus–12 Stories
4. Stripes–12 Stories
5. Hungover–12 Stories
The song that made me a fan of Brandy Clark.