Brandy Clark's 12 Stories

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I remember lex steering people toward her soundcloud page when the songs were still on it, and just this week I've read a couple reviews of the album that are all raves from beginning to end. The "Stripes" video came out three weeks ago. Kinda excited about riding this hype train for the rest of the year if the album would ever get released!

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 22:30 (six years ago) link

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 22:31 (six years ago) link

Ha! His was one of the things I read this afternoon that rekindled my interest.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 23 July 2013 22:38 (six years ago) link

can't wait to buy this and own it for real. guess it's time to retag the album name on my soundcloud mp3s...?

dyl, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 05:22 (six years ago) link

is it gonna be different in any way?

j., Wednesday, 24 July 2013 05:26 (six years ago) link

that is a good question

maybe the order of the tracks, since that wasn't super clear anyway

dyl, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 05:27 (six years ago) link

Track order via Amazon:

1. Pray to Jesus
2. Crazy Women
3. What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven
4. Get High
5. Hold My Hand
6. Stripes
7. In Some Corner
8. Take a Little Pill
9. Hungover
10. Illegitimate Children
11. The Day She Got Divorced
12. Just Like Him

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 24 July 2013 06:38 (six years ago) link

very exciting. doesn't look like it's altered from the soundcloud set, which is great because it now means my second favourite album of 2013 is an actual album. hopefully they don't change the songs' arrangements much, or at all.

they haven't announced a release date yet, have they? i've been in touch with her management, i think it might be an autumn release rather than an imminent aug one - even though you can find the deleted-but-cached itunes release with an end-of-june date.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:05 (six years ago) link

"just like him" as closer, yes yes yes

lex pretend, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:06 (six years ago) link

the songwriting on this is so good that i've basically ended up transcribing half the lyrics

lex pretend, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 10:10 (six years ago) link

She just posted on fb that Oct 22 is the new release date.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:20 (six years ago) link

ah ok, so exactly the same as the soundcloud set except w/ a contraction in one song title. brilliant -- it's a great collection of songs.

dyl, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 18:02 (six years ago) link

I'm so glad this is getting an official release.

Probably my album of the year so far. Definitely my favourite lyrically. Full of terrific lines.

gregus, Friday, 26 July 2013 21:50 (six years ago) link

have heard the finished version now - not much changed at all. one lyrical alteration to "the day she got divorced" which makes it even better, and all the songs that weren't on the EP have been gussied up slightly production-wise - only subtle touches though, only one song where i have to wonder whether it makes it better or worse

good lord the songwriting on this thing is so good though

also, for some reason i assumed "just like him" was at least semi-autobiographical, just because of the way she nails the situation in her words and delivery, but the bio says not. she's just an incredible storyteller

lex pretend, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:27 (six years ago) link

think this might end up my actual AOTY

lex pretend, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:27 (six years ago) link

that's good news

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:30 (six years ago) link

I would be all for it.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 31 July 2013 17:34 (six years ago) link

four weeks pass...

who's on backing vocals on "What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven"? incredible song

Euler, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 16:21 (six years ago) link

Vince Gill, answering my own question.

"What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven" sounds a bit like Rosanne Cash's "Blue Moon with Heartache", but the Vince Gill thing also brings out that this song would fit well on a 90s neotraditionalist album; sounds like an early Trisha Yearwood song ("The Woman In Me" or "Walkaway Joe", with Don Henley!)

that's high praise from me btw!

Euler, Monday, 9 September 2013 19:58 (six years ago) link

"Hold My Hand" sounds like it could have been an early 90s hit too, and maybe now too; not so far from a Sugarland ballad. love the "ha-an-nd" on the chorus. I get a kick out of the synth fadeout at the end because I can't hear the synth elsewhere in the song, but maybe it's just low in the mix once the song gets big near the end.

Euler, Monday, 9 September 2013 20:27 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

We got full stream

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 October 2013 16:09 (six years ago) link

can't believe it's finally out there, such an incredible album

lex pretend, Monday, 14 October 2013 16:17 (six years ago) link

This is so good.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 14 October 2013 16:32 (six years ago) link

xp I know, it seems like forever now.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 October 2013 16:43 (six years ago) link

enjoying this

festival culture (Jordan), Monday, 14 October 2013 17:10 (six years ago) link

For an extra-emotional experience, I recommend reading about that Maryville rape case while listening to "Crazy Women".

Murgatroid, Monday, 14 October 2013 17:13 (six years ago) link

So it's out today so get it already if you haven't dammit

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 22 October 2013 18:43 (six years ago) link

warning to ppl considering buying this from amazon mp3: i just got my copy from there and "hold my hand" has a really jarring momentary skip/static bit in one of the choruses :|

dyl, Tuesday, 22 October 2013 21:09 (six years ago) link

that same jarring digital glitch is in the spotify version. and in rhapsody too. i would think this is a visible enough album that someone would have noticed by now and fixed it. then again, things can move surprisingly slowly in the digital space.

i play too fast (which is the sign of an amateur) (fact checking cuz), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 03:17 (six years ago) link

"what'll keep me out of heaven" is as good as music gets. (and for some reason it reminds me of another trad-country cheating song, sunny sweeney's "from a table away," even though they're musically quite different and they take on cheating from opposite directions.)

i play too fast (which is the sign of an amateur) (fact checking cuz), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 03:24 (six years ago) link

three best on here are "What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven", narrowly ahead of "Hold My Hand" and "Just Like Him". she's got a way with the romantic songs.

could see "What'll Keep Me Out of Heaven" as a big hit for a different singer. this performance is fabulous (love Vince Gill's backing vocals) but a bigger voiced singer could knock this one out.

Euler, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:51 (six years ago) link

otm about "what'll keep me out of heaven"

dyl, Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:13 (six years ago) link

then again, things can move surprisingly slowly in the digital space.

i learned recently that once a master goes out to digital distribution, it's super difficult to switch it out for another one in the case of an issue like this. even if the digital distributor (who sends it out to all those streaming services & download stores) requests that they replace it with a different version, there's no guarantee that they'll do it (and definitely not in a timely fashion).

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:30 (six years ago) link

Love Brandy Clark, but didn't buy the bait and switch of the recent half-assed Slate piece "Can Brandy Clark Save Country Music?" First, country music does not need saving (duh). Second, little about the piece is about Brandy Clark specifically, and more about the erstwhile team of Clark, Shane McAnally. Kacey Musgraves and Josh Osbourne. And I guess Trevor Rosen, too. Collectively, sure, country is better for their writing, but the piece did not make a case for Clark specifically/exclusively. Indeed, check out the full header in the link:

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 November 2013 13:34 (six years ago) link

the headline is the biggest problem with the piece, really

dyl, Friday, 1 November 2013 15:59 (six years ago) link

Well, it should be something like "Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Others Are Behind Some of the Best Country Music Right Now."

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 November 2013 16:22 (six years ago) link

will clickbait headlines get josh in chicago to click? see if you know better than our expert columnist!

j., Friday, 1 November 2013 16:32 (six years ago) link

Slate is all click bait, but forgive me for wanting to read a story about an artist I like.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 November 2013 17:23 (six years ago) link

"That's My Kind Of Night" is a good song. wonder if thinking country needs to be saved from that is just another version of "cribbing from Timbaland doesn't make for real country"

Euler, Friday, 1 November 2013 20:45 (six years ago) link

Tell it to Bubba Sparxxx.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 1 November 2013 21:55 (six years ago) link

woulda sounded great on country radio in 2001!

Euler, Saturday, 2 November 2013 00:35 (six years ago) link

Oh, that Slate piece is by David Cantwell. I saw him do a good talk about Merle Haggard at an EMP Pop Conference

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 04:27 (six years ago) link

Washington Post's Chris Richards has moved on from disparaging the sex lives of Arcade Fire to praising Brandy Clark

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 04:28 (six years ago) link

good piece, as is the tennesseean blog linked in it -

i'm surprised and disappointed this hasn't got much as much traction as i thought it would

lex pretend, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 14:35 (six years ago) link

also, this got edited from my piece, but brandy clark aspired to be a journalist, and studied it at college! which makes all kinds of sense

lex pretend, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 14:39 (six years ago) link

Maybe if she wins a songwriter award tonight, it will somehow help her get industry support for her own release

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 14:45 (six years ago) link

I listen to it at least once a week and my opinion hasn't moved: I love about half the songs, admire the intelligence and empathy of the rest, love the idea of her, but she doesn't excite me like her clients do.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 November 2013 14:46 (six years ago) link


love "What'll Keep Me Out Of Heaven", "Hold My Hand", "Just Like Him", "Take A Little Pill", "Pray To Jesus", in that order

admire, as Alfred says, "Crazy Women", "The Day She Got Divorced", "Get High", "Hungover", "Stripes", "In Some Corner", in about that order

don't really care much for "Illegitimate Children": the chorus is clumsy. would be a nice b side though.

Euler, Wednesday, 6 November 2013 14:50 (six years ago) link

she also got nominated for best country album :)))

dyl, Friday, 5 December 2014 19:36 (five years ago) link

showcasing her way with a metaphor even when responding to her grammy noms

"I've always thought the biggest gift would be to be able to attend your own funeral," she says. "It's amazing to me how much of an outpouring of love there is at funerals. For me, today's is an example of that. This is like my own funeral."

lex pretend, Saturday, 6 December 2014 10:08 (five years ago) link

also an awareness of the category's ill-starred history

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 6 December 2014 12:41 (five years ago) link

one month passes...
one year passes...

new single!!!!! it's GREAT

cher guevara (lex pretend), Friday, 22 January 2016 14:13 (four years ago) link

I'm into it.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 22 January 2016 14:22 (four years ago) link

It's got a pulse!

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 January 2016 14:22 (four years ago) link

I've never been to jail / but, hell, I wouldn't put it past me

ha ha, excellent

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 22 January 2016 14:25 (four years ago) link

"The things that turn you on/Are what you want to change" is a good lyric that gains poignancy knowing her sexuality.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 January 2016 14:26 (four years ago) link

the instrumentation is great

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Friday, 22 January 2016 15:16 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

Instrumentation reminds me of, like, Prins Thomas.

jaymc, Monday, 2 May 2016 22:13 (three years ago) link

one month passes...


the hallouminati (lex pretend), Friday, 3 June 2016 08:38 (three years ago) link

yeah she's taken the leap -- THIS is how I wanted 12 Stories to sound like

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 3 June 2016 10:34 (three years ago) link

i'm finding the songs about individual characters to be more affecting than those about townsfolk collectively ("soap opera"; "big day in a small town").

imo "since you've gone to heaven" bridges that gap effectively, though. could imagine people finding that one maudlin, but it gave me real feelings. hope she plays it when i see her this weekend.

dc, Friday, 3 June 2016 13:30 (three years ago) link

w/out giving away too much from my filed review, I think the album is crisp and confident, if at times still too beholden to a writer's sensibility. Creative writing workshops across the land have so fetishized the detail that they have come to stand for realism—the realism of the inventory, the TSA travel advisory. Good singers don’t need details. Intimations, overheard remarks, aperçues, doggerel even—singers can inflect them. At times the sheer number of details in BDIAST is oppressive. Waffle House? Check. Ill-fitting sequined dress? Check. Jeans needin’ patchin’? Check. She's (still) not enough of a singer to transform. AtT times I'm like, enough already.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 3 June 2016 13:37 (three years ago) link

the unnecessary detail that jumped out to me as distracting was the chevy truck in "broke." obvs chevy shows up often in country music as product placement or to establish cred or w/e, but i sorta doubted that was the case here. my mind started running through other adjectives they might have considered using there (pick-up, beat-up); took me outta the song a little bit.

dc, Friday, 3 June 2016 13:45 (three years ago) link

but overall i like most of the songs on here. and "girl next door" still sounds great.

dc, Friday, 3 June 2016 13:46 (three years ago) link

"Daughter" is my jam too – that organ!

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 3 June 2016 13:58 (three years ago) link

That's gotta be Kacey doing backups on "Daughter" right?

bunny slopes, Friday, 3 June 2016 19:59 (three years ago) link

the kind of detail i like isn't the writerly stuff but things like, on "homecoming queen", that little aside "or the captain of the football team". it's a bitchy song (and all the better for it) masquerading as clark's trademark empathy but that one little aside is amazing in a "boys don't think you've got off easy, still got my eye on you" way

the hallouminati (lex pretend), Friday, 10 June 2016 12:30 (three years ago) link

i heard "broke" live over a year ago and it's as good as it was then. the way the chorus rolls across the phrase "generic...coke"

i like that she can afford arrangements and is good at them but i never saw her plainness as a negative in any way before. i don't think that's fundamentally changed, how awkward does she seem even existing in the "girl next door" video (and you wonder whether anyone involved even for a second contemplated casting her as the character whose voice she was singing in)

the hallouminati (lex pretend), Friday, 10 June 2016 12:33 (three years ago) link

generally i think it's a record that shows she can scale even greater, more attention-grabbing heights than she did on 12 stories and suffers a bit when it tries to reprise it ("you can come over" is nice enough but like..."what'll keep me out of heaven" is unbeatable already)

the hallouminati (lex pretend), Friday, 10 June 2016 12:35 (three years ago) link

this is so good!! "girl next door"!

Mordy, Friday, 10 June 2016 19:06 (three years ago) link


The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 June 2016 19:11 (three years ago) link

i love "girl next door" but i hate the songwriting/arrangement impulse that caused her to add the "and go right now and don't look back..." tag at the end of the first chorus. such a perfect verse/chorus until that point, and then it's like, "wait, there's another tool in my nashville songwriting toolkit, here it is, boom!" would have been a nice bridge a minute later, but here it's a bridge too soon. and as a result of that, she has to add another bridge after it the next time it comes around, the "the thing that turns you on..." part, which seems tacked-on and too on-the-nose.

a great song that could have been a perfect song with two hours' less work, imo.

(and i'm your nitpicking cuz)

fact checking cuz, Friday, 10 June 2016 19:46 (three years ago) link

I didn't mind the filigree so much as the other overstuffed songs. I realize I'm complaining about songs having too many details.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 June 2016 19:50 (three years ago) link

oh my god, the way "since you've gone to heaven" pans out from family tragedy to social decay is heartbreaking

the hallouminati (lex pretend), Tuesday, 14 June 2016 09:22 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Why Brandy, how tart of you

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 1 September 2016 16:29 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

best / cleverest line / lyric / turn of phrase on Big Day? let's hear 'em...

alpine static, Sunday, 9 October 2016 20:05 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

saw her live last night, two acoustic guitars and that was it. pretty much perfect. she closed with 'America the Beautiful' segueing into 'Pray to Jesus' which felt like a real message

the notes the loon doesn't play (ulysses), Saturday, 12 November 2016 18:17 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

h/t underrated aero:

etc, Monday, 19 February 2018 01:57 (two years ago) link

can't get enough of this tune

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, 19 February 2018 02:02 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

just started up the new one

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 6 March 2020 16:33 (one month ago) link

It's good!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 March 2020 16:40 (one month ago) link

it is!

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 6 March 2020 16:41 (one month ago) link

“pawn shop” is effortlessly lovely

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 6 March 2020 18:27 (one month ago) link

"Apologies" is sounding the best so far.

Joey Corona (Euler), Friday, 6 March 2020 18:28 (one month ago) link

flute AND horns

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 6 March 2020 18:40 (one month ago) link

Surprised this wasn't linked yet:

Ned Raggett, Friday, 6 March 2020 19:52 (one month ago) link

"take a cinder block with you as a souvenir" is a great jab
i can do without the randy newman track but most of the rest is great.
it's a beautifully produced album, if this doesn't get radio play for her i can't imagine what will.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 12 March 2020 13:28 (three weeks ago) link

“Can we be Strangers” is an astounding song. Structurally put together so well. Great lyrics too. What a chorus.

Heez, Saturday, 14 March 2020 23:59 (three weeks ago) link

so is "The Past is the Past." Fabulous use of strings generally.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 15 March 2020 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

this is a great record, killer AM radio energy

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 15 March 2020 00:02 (three weeks ago) link

Closet thing I can think of is Lee Ann Womack’s last one

Heez, Sunday, 15 March 2020 01:34 (three weeks ago) link

This is brilliant. No weak points at all. I even like "Bigger Boat".

Jeff W, Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:51 (two weeks ago) link

i draw the line at Bigger Boat. Love everything else though!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:54 (two weeks ago) link

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