Brandi Carlile: “Wherever Is Your Heart”

Over the next two weeks, the Song of the Day spotlights SXSW 2015 artists. Check back everyday for a free download and show information.

As a major-label recording artist, Brandi Carlile got frustrated with having to demo all her songs first before capturing the spark in a studio. “I’d end up with all of these demos and I could hear the moment on them and never get it back again,” she told NPR last year. “I adore all of our records we’ve made, but damn it, you should hear those demos.” For album number five, The Firewatcher’s Daughter, Carlile scrapped the demo process, going for a first-take-is-best-take approach. It certainly shows: The Firewatcher’s Daughter is scrappy and raw. Carlile and her collaborators the Twins (Tim and Phil Hanseroth) often sound like they’ll burst out of the recording with every multi-part harmony.

There’s a weariness at the center of “Wherever Is Your Heart,” which details Carlile’s literal and emotional traveling over the past decade as a musician. Still, that aforementioned energy buoys the song and the singer alike. Download “Wherever Is Your Heart” and catch Brandi Carlile at SXSW 2015.

–Art Levy

Wednesday, March 18: Central Presbyterian Church, 11 p.m. (official showcase)

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