Brandy Clark: Return to the Northwest

Brandy Clark

It is no secret that Brandy Clark is probably one of, if not my favourite artist and songwriter. Her lyricism and storytelling are second to none and I was delighted to hear she’s back with her fourth studio album. Just after we spoke, it was further announced that she would be returning to the UK to perform at the wonderful Black Deer Festival in June of this year. 

Clark has had a very busy year though, perhaps this is her moment to truly be recognised by the world over for her songwriting prowess as she spent the last twelve months seeing three big projects finally come to fruition. Aside from her own solo album, Clark was one of the writers and performers on Ashley McBryde’s Lindeville and also saw the musical she has been working on for ten years ‘Shucked’, open on Broadway! Musically, life has never been better or busier for Clark as she has come on a journey of self-discovery whilst tackling these projects. “I’ve just run as fast as I could really, I have a good team of people that figured out a way to balance all those things,” she reflects. “I literally went from Shucked in Salt Lake City this fall to Nashville to do the CMAs for the Lindeville performance, and then flew back to LA because we made my record this time in LA for no reason other than that’s where it worked best for Brandi Carlile. Then I got sick in the process of making that record, so it got pushed around, and I ended up going to New York to finish some vocals with her and at the same time doing a work session for Shucked.” 

Lindeville was the first project to reach our ears in September of last year. Ashley McBryde teamed up with Nicolette Hayford, Benjy Davis, Aaron Ratiere, Connie Harrington and Brandy Clark to craft these characters and a place for them to live before calling upon John Osborne for production. TJ Osborne along with her co-writers recorded the vocals. “I didn’t have to do near as much on that as I did on my own record, it was a gift in that way, the writing retreat and then John Osborne and Ashley sent me the tracks that I was supposed to sing on and then we did a video and then we were at the CMAs. So that was a really cool, easy thing to be a part of. I loved writing for that record.” 

In October, the musical Shucked opened for previews in Salt Lake City, before previewing at the Nederlander theatre on Broadway where it officially opened on April 4th. Clark wrote the musical with Shane McAnally and Robert Horn. “That’s just been a massive dream come true. I didn’t really know what to expect. We’ve worked on it for 10 years, so I guess I just had let go of any expectation around it. Since it was a first time for both Shane and I, we didn’t really know what it would be, it’s just overwhelming.” 

Though it is only just beginning for the world, for Clark, McAnally and Horn the journey has come to an end. “There’s a bitter sweetness to it ending, its just beginning for the world but for Shane and Robert and I, its the end of it for us as far as our continual work on it. So being able to jump into promoting this record is a really, really big gift.” The last time we talked, Clark was knee deep in rewrites for the musical and spoke of the pain of having to axe some of her favourite songs in the show for the sake of the story. They are songs she has not forgotten about though, “Shane and I have been talking about doing a show called ‘From the Shucking room floor’ with all the songs we love that got cut from the show.” 

Read the full interview in the May/June issue of Maverick Magazine

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