Country Queer

Lifting up LGBTQ+ voices in country and Americana.

“A Beautiful Noise,” Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys

By Sydney Miller, Staff Writer

On October 29, Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys released “A Beautiful Noise,” a duet that masterfully blends both of their piano-playing skills and voices. The song was also meant to inspire the country in the days leading up to the election, but the way things are going, it may have a much longer shelf life than originally intended.

In the video, Keys is in a black suit playing a white piano, with big black boots that she taps as she plays. Across the room, Brandi Carlile is in a white tux with a black bow tie at a black piano. Can’t really go wrong with that color scheme, and the symbolism is not lost.

The song is just piano and vocals. We love rowdy protest songs as much as anyone, but sometimes the anger gets to be too much. That’s where this song comes in. It’s a calming, melodic track that urges all of us to look inside and take control of our lives. 

It has a sense of anger and righteousness — “No one’s saying what we need to hear / I will not let silence win,” Keys and Carlile sing. But there’s hope in their voices, and it spills out in a way that will send shivers down your spine or let warmth seep through your heart.

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“It is loud / It is clear / It is stronger than your fear,” Carlile belts out, letting us know what her voice is and what our voices could be if we used them.

The way Carlile smiles at Keys from across the room makes me feel like she’s smiling at me, letting me know that everything is going to be okay and that I am stronger than I think I am – or at least that I’m stronger than my fears.