Beautiful Northwest artist Brandi Carlile recorded her new album right here in her own backyard, at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, Washington. Much like the surroundings, the album is rich and organic sounding. If an album had a smell, Bear Creek would smell like a barn – natural, earthy, and full of the outdoors.
A few months back, I was honored to be asked to help Brandi put together her EPK for the album. So on a rainy day in April, I travelled out to Bear Creek to meet Brandi, The Twins, their production partner-in-crime Trina Shoemaker and an entire video production crew. The shoot lasted well into the evening, included 4 live songs, and interviews with Brandi alone, Brandi and The Twins, and Brandi and Trina.
My job was to stand off-camera asking questions whose answers would be interspersed with songs to create an overview of the album. The finished pieces would be used to present Brandi and Bear Creek to the world. Here’s one of the finished products:
Video shoots are notoriously hard. You get everything in place and then the musicians walk into the shot and there is a huge shadow across Brandi’s face. You lose the light. Someone walks into a shot that shouldn’t be there. A helicopter flies over head during the quietest part of a song. You swallow a fly in the middle of a song. Pretty much all those things happened during Brandi’s shoot at Bear Creek, but she, Trina, and The Twins remained in amazing spirits throughout because they were so proud of the work they’d created.
Here I asked Brandi about the song ’100′:
And here she tells a great story about writing ‘That Wasn’t Me’:
Brandi doesn’t apologize for being reckless!
And where does that redneck sensibility come from?
When the long day was over, I pulled Brandi’s manager over to thank him for allowing me to be a part of this project, and to make one suggestion: after hearing all the rootsy/country influences on Bear Creek why not have Brandi and The Twins record a gospel album with a mix of traditional gospels and spirituals, and songs like ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys and Sufjan Stevens ‘Oh God Where Are You Now’? They could tour churches. I think it would be beautiful and could introduce Brandi to a whole new audience.
But whatever Brandi chooses to do next, she’ll have a record of a day spent working hard to spread the gospel of Bear Creek and to that we all say ‘Amen’.
Vampire Weekend - Diane Young