Song of the Day #4,662: ‘The Eye’ – Brand Carlile

Brandi Carlile’s fourth album, 2015’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter, sounds like a reaction to its low-key predecessor. Where Bear Creek leaned into acoustic folk and country, Firewatcher finds Carlile and company rocking out. On about half of its tracks, anyway.

Having been lucky enough to see Carlile live right before the pandemic, I can attest that this album comes closer to capturing her live sound than any of its predecessors. Indeed, Carlile says the band didn’t record any demos for the record, instead choosing to capture the performances for the first time during the final recording sessions.

While The Firewatcher’s Daughter has a lot of grit and edge, its most celebrated song is a simple acoustic number featuring three-part harmony.

Carlile’s working relationship with twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth is fascinating. The trio collaborate on all of her songs (some combination of one, two or three of them has written just about every tune she has ever released). They split all performance revenue three ways and have equal rights to their output.

Indeed, the artist “Brandi Carlile” is ostensibly a three-person band, and contractually, the Hanseroth twins have the option to continue performing under that name should the trio ever split.

Given that the three live together with their respective spouses on the same 90-acre farm in Washington State, a separation seems highly unlikely. Throw in the fact that Phil is married to Carlile’s little sister, and it’s clear this trio is more a family than a band.

The connection between them is clear in today’s SOTD, ‘The Eye,’ the closest thing to a hit on this album.

[Verse 1]
It really breaks my heart
To see a dear old friend
Go down to the worn out place again
Do you know the sound
Of a closing door?
Have you heard that sound somewhere before?
Do you wonder if she knows you anymore?

[Chorus]
I wrapped your love around me like a chain
But I never was afraid that it would die
You can dance in a hurricane
But only if you’re standing in the eye

[Verse 2]
Where did you learn to walk?
Where did you learn to run
Away from everything you love?
Did you think the bottle
Would ever ease your pain?
Did you think that love’s a foolish game?
Did you find someone else to take the blame?

[Chorus]
I wrapped your love around me like a chain
But I never was afraid that it would die
You can dance in a hurricane
But only if you’re standing in the eye
You can dance in a hurricane
But only if you’re standing in the eye

[Verse 3]
I am a sturdy soul
And there ain’t no shame
In lying down in the bed you made
Can you fight the urge to run for another day?
You might make it further if you learn to stay

[Chorus]
I wrapped your love around me like a chain
But I never was afraid that it would die
You can dance in a hurricane
But only if you’re standing in the eye
You can dance in a hurricane
But only if you’re standing in the eye

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,662: ‘The Eye’ – Brand Carlile

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    That is quite the fascinating arrangement. I wonder if Billie Eilish and her brother have a similar deal?

  2. Peg says:

    I just love their connections

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