By Sydney Miller, Associate Editor
If Brandi Carlile has taught us anything, it’s that when female country artists collaborate, good things happen. At least, that’s what me and the Highwomen tattoo on my calf like to think. And when lesbian country artists collaborate? They create a haunting tune that hangs in your mind for days.
“Same Devil,” Brandy Clark’s new single featuring Brandi Carlile, details the poignant, everyday sadness that can come from anything from drug abuse to being a closeted queer person with religious parents.
This first verse is delivered in a heavy, rhythmic meter reminiscent of James McMurtry’s “We Can’t Make It Here Anymore.” It’s a little unnerving, but it fits the tone of the song and serves to pull you into the story.
“Same hell, different levels,” Brandy and Brandi sing in the chorus, “Different demons / Same devil.”
The slow acoustic guitar and angelic background singing lead into the second verse, a crystal-clear allegory for our political moment.
“You voted for the snake and I voted for the rat / They’re rollin’ in the dough and we’re fightin’ for the scraps,” they sing. It’s not uplifting, but it’s empowering to know that these queer country stars Brandi Carlile and Brandy Clark feel the same disillusionment with the political system that I do.
This tune is assuredly not a banger, per se, but rather a thoughtful, contemplative, mournfully accurate reflection of our current times. I do hope the Brandy/Brandi collab, welcome as it is, yields something a little more hopeful next time.