Single Review: Brandy Clark, “Buried”


Brandy Clark

Written by Brandy Clark and Jessie Jo Dillon

Over the course of three albums and an assortment of side collaborations and compositions for other artists, Clark has written more great country songs in the last decade and a half than just about anyone.  She’s on the same level as Jason Isbell as an artist and writer, but she hasn’t received nearly the same level of attention and acclaim, despite vocal enthusiasm from journalists and her own peers.

That seems destined to change with her new album, which is being produced by – and, more importantly, enthusiastically championed by – Brandi Carlile, another brilliant artist who toiled in obscurity for way too long before finally being embraced as an Americana superstar.

But this is more than just stunt casting in the producer’s chair.  Like Rick Rubin was able to do with Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, and the Chicks, Carlile has emerged as a producer who is able to bring the core essence of an artist to the surface, stripping away layers of protection that weren’t even noticeable to long time fans.

“Buried” is the perfect showcase for Clark’s new direction as a singer and a songwriter.  The flawless songwriting remains, complete with clever turns of phrase that hit so hard that you can’t believe nobody has ever written them before.  But the production is so sparse, and Clark’s vocal performance is so achingly raw, that it feels like we’re listening to her singing the song for the first time.

Her performance is devastating as she fully accepts that the woman she loves more than anyone else simply doesn’t feel the same, and she has no choice but to move on.  There isn’t a trace of bravado as she sings:

If you don’t want me
If you’re bеyond me
If you don’t love me anymore

I’ll be an over-you achiever
I’ll make you a believer
That I don’t love you either

And she will, right through finding another woman and making her a wife.  But the naked truth is that she will never love this way again, and she closes things out with the only utterance of the song’s title:

I’ll meet somebody else
Probably get married
I’ll keep it to myself
But I’ll love you ’til I’m buried

If “Buried” is any indication, one of the best artists of this generation has managed to get even better.

Grade: A

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  1. …somewhere brandi clark said that the upcoming album is “probably the rawest since “12 stories” (2013). kinda sounds like it, judging from this hauntingly beautiful example of things to come. what is also beautiful, her vocals are of a quality that allows her to be raw/rawest without sounding rough.

    brit taylor has a great new album out, iris dement too, suzie candell (ep) likewise and now brandi clark possibly as well – not bad for the start of the season in the lady’s department.. of course, not to forget to mention kelsea ballerini’s efforts (last album and ep) dealing with her relationship/marital turmoils, although, one would not recognise her sound as country music really on that ep “rolling up the welcome mat” – it’s title, however, gives a pretty good hint, where it is coming from.

  2. Haunting, stirs up emotions long hidden, or should I say, long buried. I cant wait for the rest of this albu.. hoping a tour will be next and in CA so I can see her again.

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