Brandi Carlile

The Firewatcher's Daughter (ATO)

SXSW 2015 Records

Brandi Carlile

The Firewatcher's Daughter (ATO)

Brandi Carlile seems determined to defy expectations. Following stints with producers Rick Rubin and T Bone Burnett, she took the reigns herself for her fourth LP, 2012's Bear Creek. On the Seattle songwriter's fifth studio disc, she jumps from major label to powerful indie ATO, and cuts an album of marginally rehearsed, single-take tracks that expose rougher edges her previous efforts had largely polished off. The effect is impressive. Carlile's voice and roots-rock inclination harness star power, but as she makes clear on the biting garage-riffed "Mainstream Kid," she and longtime collaborators the Hanseroth twins are more interested in finding their own path. That route is wide-ranging on Daughter, from rolling folk-pop stomps ("Wherever Is Your Heart," "The Things I Regret") and country-inflected melodies ("The Eye," "Wilder") to bluesy rockers ("Alibi"). Though far from cohesive, the album instead showcases Carlile's range, and suggests she can conquer any direction she chooses, or maybe even all of them. (Wed., 11pm, Central Presbyterian Church)

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