Best Albums of the 2010s – #8
By the Way, I Forgive You – Brandi Carlile (2018)
Brandi Carlile is the artist on this top 20 list I discovered most recently. I started hearing praise for her 2018 album By the Way, I Forgive You in spring of that year and fell in love with it as soon as I played it.
As with Jason Isbell, I immediately dove into Carlile’s back catalog and discovered she’s been putting out great music for 15 years. Incidentally, Carlile is a member of the all-woman supergroup The Highwomen, who released their debut album this year, along with Isbell’s wife, Amanda Shires.
I spent all of my year-end energy on the movies the past couple of months, so I never got around to counting down my favorite songs of 2018.
Had I done so, much of my focus would have been on seven albums that really knocked my socks off last year: Elvis Costello’s Look Now, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, Josh Rouse’s Love in the Modern Age, Pistol Annies’ Interstate Gospel, Camila Cabello’s Camila, Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, and Brandi Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You.
I’m dedicating this week to some of the best new albums I’ve heard so far in 2018, and today is slated for indie folk rocker Brandi Carlile. This also happens to be my mother’s birthday — Happy Birthday, Mom!
Therefore the stars were aligned perfectly for me to feature Carlile’s song ‘The Mother’ today, acknowledging both a great song on a great album and the greatest mother in the world. Alas, I jumped the gun and posted ‘The Mother’ back in April, so that opportunity is gone.
Alongside Jason Isbell, the other great find of my young streaming era is Brandi Carlile. I haven’t (yet) dived into her back catalog, but the folk rocker’s newest album, By the Way, I Forgive You is a winner.
The 36-year-old Carlile hails from Washington state and has enjoyed modest success releasing six studio albums since 2005. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of her; in fact, when I read about this new release, I alternately confused her with Brandy Clark and Belinda Carlisle.