hobart logo

March 22, 2019 Jukebox Happy Hour

Brandi Carlile

Micah Ling

Brandi Carlile photo

Brandi Carlile
By the Way, I Forgive You
Low Country Sound / Elektra
February 16, 2018

The summer after I finished college I stuck around the tiny town in Indiana because – like any college campus – it was so much nicer without the students. I cobbled together a handful of jobs watching a series of pets and houses while professors went on vacation with their families. One house had a parrot that never stopped talking. I slept in my car. Another house had a cat that was so mean I had to leave a rolled-up newspaper at the back door so that I could swing it at the cat when I entered. 

Mid-summer a group of women at the coffeeshop asked me if I wanted to work for them. We scraped and painted houses, we used loud, heavy equipment to manicure lawns – hard, hot work. We walked to the Dairy Curl, drenched in sweat, and ate ice cream with pineapple topping. Once we went to the creek, took off all our clothes, and swam until dark. It’s the safest I’ve ever been. 

I didn’t know about Brandi Carlile then, but when I first heard “By the Way, I Forgive You,” I was back in that Indiana humidity. It’s music that reminds you who you are – the soundtrack that was playing when you became your truest self. “Hold Out Your Hand” is everything I learned that summer. Sometimes you’ve got to drive a pick-up truck faster than is safe down a gravel road to get to a fire just to see it all burn. What a glorious sight. 

Everyone’s got that summer, I hope. When you realize you need to hold the hand of the one who scares the shit out of you. You’ve got to wake up and wonder what’s real. Brandi Carlile is real. And this album will keep teaching you who you should be.  

Whatever’s being passed around -- whatever takes you back

image: Micah Ling