Listening to Brandi Carlile sing is like listening to classic records from Emmylou Harris mixed in with some Melissa Etheridge and just a little bit of Joplin. With “Dying Day,” Brandi is expanding into the mainstream country music world and it has the “technically wrong but emotionally right” quotient that has guided many of Taylor Swift’s performances and even Carlile’s own past hit “The Story.” The track, which is featured on the superlative Give Up The Ghost album remains acoustic throughout with the gentile lilt of a cello backing up the Hanseroth twins Tim and Phil and Brandi on the Piano. The whole production, which was helmed by Jason Lader with an assist by the masterful Rick Rubin, is a pure piece of acoustic ear candy.
The lyrics are some of the strongest and romantic words I’ve heard set to music in quite a while and they are passionately sung by Brandi as she sings of a life that is certainly to resonate with any military personnel who are gone from the ones they loved. There are quite a few ‘missing you’ love songs out there but few come across as strong both lyrically and melodically as “Dying Day” does.
All of the praise aside, this song has an uphill battle to make it at country radio as it’s not only produced outside of the Nashville system but it comes from Columbia Records in NY and Los Angeles. Still, if radio was to play a song purely on its sonic merits and not for any political reasons, they would be able to turn this single into the hit it deserves to be.
You can listen to a streaming sample of this song by clicking here.