Empathy has been a hot topic lately and is one of the focal points of the latest release from Brandi Carlile. While doing press for this record, Brandi has spoken about the effects motherhood and age have played on her music. Always a storyteller through song, Carlile tackles a wide range of topics on ‘By The Way, I Forgive You.’
Opioids and drug addiction have overwhelmed much of this country, while leaving others mostly unaffected. Carlile attempts to both put a spotlight on this crisis as well as create sympathy for those troubled with addiction on her single “Sugartooth.” The song’s title uses the metaphor of candy addiction to tell the story of a high school friend dealing with substance abuse.
Carlile is backed on “Sugartooth” by Americana group The Secret Sisters on vocals and Shooter Jennings on piano. The song has a hushed beginning as the narrative is laid out, before Carlile unleashes her massive voice as a way of pleading for her friend. It’s important for her that people know that addiction does not make someone a bad person. By the end of the song, her friend has lost his battle with drugs and tragically dies alone. If you think this sounds like a sad and depressing song, well it is. However, Carlile has a knack for creating catchy and upbeat songs about even the darkest of topics.
“He wanted to be a better man
Then life kicked him down like an old tin can
He would give you the shirt on his back
If not for a sugartooth”
It has been a big year already for Carlile, with her song “The Joke” being listed in President Obama’s songs of 2017. ‘By the Way, I Forgive You’ was released soon after making the list, and has been garnering strong acclaim from both press and fans. She is currently on tour to support the record, including a show at the Chicago Theatre in June. Check out her new single “Sugartooth” at the link below, and let me know what you think!