Photo by Victoria Stevens

LISTEN: Brandy Clark’s “She Smoked In The House”

Singer, songwriter and musician Brandy Clark’s new song, “She Smoked In The House,” is debuting today. Listen above.

Of the song, Clark shares, “I was driving around listening to a lot of Merle Haggard. I got stuck on ‘Are the Good Times Really Over for Good’ for weeks. That song really makes me think of my grandparents and that generation. I just couldn’t get away from it. So I started on a song called ‘They Smoked in the House,’ but I just couldn’t connect with it in the way that I needed to. I remembered someone once telling me that to be general, you must be specific and so I pivoted and started working on ‘SHE Smoked in the House.’ The ‘SHE’ is my grandma Ruth. To this day, my grandma Ruth is my favorite character to ever walk the planet. Looking back, I wrote this song because I was missing her and the things that she valued in life. I never thought that it would ever be on a record. It was for me….but now it’s for you too.”

“She Smoked In The House” is the second song unveiled from Clark’s new self-titled album, which was produced by 9x Grammy-winner Brandi Carlile and will be released May 19 on Warner Records.

Recorded at the famed Shangri-La studio in Malibu, CA, the album features the most raw and intimate recordings of Clark’s decade-long career, as she showcases her versatility across eleven songs that span the emotional spectrum. In addition to Clark and Carlile, the album also includes special guests Derek Trucks and Lucius as well as Matt Chamberlain on drums, Sebastian Steinberg on bass, Dave Palmer on piano, Jedd Hughes on guitar, Kyleen King on viola, Josh Neumann on cello, Sista Strings (aka Monique and Chauntee Ross) on cello and violin, Steve Fishell on pedal steel and Jay Carlile on background vocals and harmonica.

Reflecting on the project, Clark shares, “This album is a return home to me in many ways. Musically it’s the rawest I’ve been since 12 Stories and maybe even rawer. When Brandi and I sat down and talked about working together, one thing that really intrigued me was her saying ‘I see it as your return to the northwest.’ (Since the two of us are both from Washington state). That comment inspired so much for me. It took me back to where and how I grew up. ‘Northwest’ and ‘She Smoked In The House’ were both a result of that early conversation. Working with another recording artist on this project was such a gift that I didn’t even know I needed and changed the way I want to write songs and make records moving forward. My hope is that anyone who hears this album will feel the heart that I put into every note of it.”

Carlile adds, “Brandy is one of the greatest songwriters I’ve ever known. And I feel like I now know exactly who Brandy Clark is through the portal of this singular brilliantly written album. When I heard the songs for this album, they took me back to the first time I heard Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. I was thinking about Tom Petty, The Pretenders, Kim Richey, Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne and the soul of 90s Americana before it had a name. Brandy’s voice is like a friend you’ve had your whole life the second you hear it. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. This is her moment. This is the one. Sometimes an artist only gets one shot at an album like this in their life. This is the time Brandy has chosen to reveal herself to the world as an artist and a woman and I was blessed beyond measure to be the person she trusted to support and facilitate that swan dive.”

About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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