Tag Archives: song

KelSwift and Kaylor on again off again

1 Oct

You saw my disclaimer on the other 3-4 posts that yes, this post is Taylor-centric because I’m trying to find connections.  The thing that started this was Kelsea’s lyric:  DAISES ON THE DASHBOARD?!  For what reason?  It’s not a common expression, or something that happens.  That is a purposeful, direct connection to Kaylor.  So here we are, seeing ANY possible others…  But I like Kelsea as an artist in her own right, I’m not saying she’s copying Taylor, or that Taylor wrote her songs or anything disrespectful.  I’m just trying to call out possible intentional connections that Kelsea placed across her new album.

If this is confirmation bias–it’s sure strong.  And it speaks to how Taylor’s writing has the ability to capture universal, relatable feelings in all sorts of situations.  So many lyrics of Taylor’s encapsulate just what an individual is feeling or going through.  If this song is not intentionally referencing Taylor’s work–then Kelsea needs to give Taylor a call, because Tay could really be an understanding shoulder to cry on.  She gets what Kelsea is going through–says her lyrics.

Each one of these lyrical parallels would be considered a “reach” by the mean-Gaylors and the hetlors.  And it’s true, after seeing the daises line, I was really looking deep, and trying to pull out any, little thing that connected to Taylor. So some of these just might be stretching it. This write-up may delve into fan-fiction territory, but take from it what you like, and leave what feels too “reachy” (to use a word I’m tired of). But when there’s TEN “reaches” in one song is it confirmation bias or a preponderance of evidence?  Time will tell.  Midnights out October 21, 2022.

I GUESS THEY CALL IT FALLIN’ (Lyrics)

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on the ground/You can’t live forever with your head up in the clouds

I mean, Taylor Swift [Lover] OUT now?!

As we discussed before Kelsea might be talking about the beginning of the Lover era where Taylor was actively trying to get Karlie back (the literal signs, the mural, etc, etc…).  A lot of cloud imagery was used for Lover promo so Kelsea uses the word “clouds” to describe this more complex situation.  See Kelsea’s song Weather in another post.

Think it’s written in the stars ’til they burn out

I am waiting to see if Taylor talks about stars in her new album–it’s a pet theory of mine with no evidence yet.  I have seen stars (and the moon) mentioned across this album of Kelsea’s.  And it makes sense to me for Taylor to move on from Karlie (the sun) to Kelsea the stars and/or moon.

…I was like, “Oh my God”, every thought played like a video

I thought the quotations and video was an odd turn of phrase, so I looked up Taylor’s lyrics where she says, “Oh my God” and found:

A song about the media and public having this perception of Taylor.  She is tongue in cheek here, playing into that (false) perception.  The subtext/secret meaning of the song is about bearding.  

Shake It Off is a song about ignoring haters and living your best life. 

That song also addresses the media and public’s perception of Taylor:

The third song where Taylor uses, “Oh my God” talks about the perception that Taylor is a serial dater who just writes songs about her exes:

All three of these songs talk about the (false) perception in the general public that Taylor is boy-crazy. And the narrative pushed by the media that Taylor just writes songs about her exes. The were really big music videos for Taylor as well.

I think in this line Kelsea is saying when her and Taylor were first having romantic sparks, she was incredulous.  Kelsea might have been surprised because the media portrays Taylor as a man-eater, and Taylor’s public persona leans into dating and writing songs about men.  So Kelsea might have been shocked to have a romantic connection with Taylor. She might also have been a bit star-struck to have something serious with someone of Taylor’s caliber of fame, since Kelsea had seen Taylor in her music videos before meeting her in person.

Left your shirt, and the hurt, now I curse your Acqua di Gio

Taylor’s Tis the Damn Season mentions perfume:

It’s about how Taylor goes back to her hometown (Nashville, where Kelsea also lives) to visit her parents and has an on again off again fling when she’s home. Both people are OK with this situationship. Taylor talks about how when she’s home that relationship and life (road not taken) seems good, but she left that geographic location.  But it still is part of her and stays with her.   

In Illicit Affairs Taylor talks about sleeping with someone who is committed to somebody else (Karlie is officially with Jo$h).  They have to lie and sneak around to see each other.  But living in secret gets real old, and the high of their encounters feels less and less good as time goes on because of the million lies.

The perfume is used as a “tell” of the encounter.  Perfume can be used to cover up the scent of the side-chick so her smell is not noticed by the boyfriend. Karlie might put on the perfume Jo$h bought her (or perfume she picked out because Jo$h liked the smell) to cover up Taylor’s smell on her. It could go the other way too: Perfume cannot be worn during the encounters because it would leave scent-evidence that the person was there.  If Jo$h could smell Taylor’s perfume on their bed there would be questions.

Kelsea curses the perfume because the scent left behind makes her think of Taylor.  And also the perfume represents secrets and hiding an affair, so it makes Kelsea think of the Kaylor bearding triangle.  

That night you told me I hung your moon (I hung your moon)

If Midnights has moons and stars, I will not shut up about it!!!

I jumped right in with no parachute (No parachute, oh, oh)/…Did you only get me high to let me down?

Taylor uses “high” in two of her more WLW songs:

Call it What You Want is a definite Karlie song (Call it what you want, Karlie what you want).  Taylor tells Karlie that she can call what they have going on whatever she wants.  Karlie is  nervous about it.  Karlie doesn’t want to be a cheater.  But Taylor just wants to keep what they have going alive, even if it needs to be secret and unofficial.  It doesn’t have to be lesbian-love, call it anything that makes you more comfortable. It speaks to the on-again off-again nature of Kaylor also. With Karlie being nervous about breaking her commitment to Jo$h as one reason for the encounters to be fleeting and secretive, on and off.

Kelsea using “high” in opposition to down could reference an on and off Taylor relationship.  And when Kelsea thinks of Taylor’s songs pleading with Karlie to be with her, that’s what gets Kelsea down.  Whenever Kaylor is “on” that means Taylor is emotionally unavailable and physically gone from Kelsea. Kaylor and KelSwift and similar relationships. One person is on, then off, here than gone.

Another song where Taylor uses the word “high” is Don’t Blame Me.  In the song Taylor compares WLW love to a drug.  She says it’s bad for her and her brand and her image, but also she can’t stay away. “My drug is my baby.”  

Kelsea feels like her love with Taylor gets her high also.  When Taylor comes around and loves Kelsea, it’s like a drug.  It’s that same drug Taylor speaks about in her song, the WLW love, and Kelsea can’t leave it alone even though there’s a let down when Taylor/the WLW love leaves again.

I guess they call it falling ’cause you end up on your face/Sleeping by myself in a bed I didn’t make

If Taylor and Karlie were on and off, it’s possible Taylor got with Kelsea during the Kaylor “off” periods.  And it wasn’t Kelsea’s choice to be alone during the Kaylor “on” periods.   Taylor’s song, Willow describes Taylor sneaking in to see Karlie even though she’s committed to Jo$h (bearding contract or bisexual love, we don’t know).

Willow talks about sneaking around to be with your secret WLW lover despite commitments to men and secrecy to preserve public images. The partner is mythical, because they are gone a lot, mostly a dream not reality. Describing a lover as a trophy or champion ring could speak to Taylor and Jo$h fighting over Karlie. In their fighting, they’re treating her as an object without autonomy to make her own choices. “Prize I’d cheat to win” probably has the double meaning of cheating in a relationship, and also cheating/lying to the public to hide the true nature of the relationship. “I’m begging for you to take my hand, wreck my plans, that’s my man” is one partner asking the other to commit fully to them. Wreck the bearding plans (for one or both Taylor/J0e and Karlie/Jo$h). In an interview, when asked about Jo$h, Karlie repeatedly referred to him as “my man” which came off as awkward. So Taylor may have written Willow with that in mind, to convey Karlie’s commitment to Jo$h as a stumbling block to be “home” (a committed relationship with each other).

Sleeping in a bed I didn’t make, is Kelsea saying that her relationship with Taylor, got her dragged into all this Kaylor drama. She didn’t create the Kaylor bearding triangle, but she has to live with the consequences of it too. Kelsea is left alone when Taylor is literally going back to Karlie, or emotionally still hung up on Kaylor.

… I should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known, should’ve known (I should’ve known, known)

I thought Kelsea’s repetition of this phrase was pointed, but didn’t know why.  I looked up the phrase in Taylor’s lyrics to check if Kelsea was insinuating a connection.

It’s funny that the lyric ties to White Horse a song about someone holding out hope that this other person will come around.  Ultimately Taylor realizes this person is going to let her down because she is being starry-eyed and dreamy about love, not realistic.

So that sentiment goes right along with Kelsea falling for an person who is back and fourth, in and out of her life.  There are highs when they’re together, but it comes at the cost of loneliness and feeling bad when Taylor physically leaves for Karlie (in earlier years), or emotionally checks out for missing the Kaylor relationship (in more current times).

… Then the wind, blowing in, threw me right off of my pedestal

Red is a song also about highs and lows of a passionate love that ends suddenly.  It seems connected to the theme of this song as well.

The word, “wind” again conjures, Willow which describes secret meetings and fooling the media/public with the bait and switch.  It’s a lover that comes and goes in secret, same as in Kelsea’s song.

In the second half of Kelsea’s phrase she says threw me off my pedestal. “Pedestal” is a very loaded word in GayLore.  It conjures Dianna, one of Taylor’s early girlfriends.  It’s also a common phrase when digging into Gaylor (Taylor’s LGBT subtext and secretive relationships) to say “going down the rabbit hole” which was Dianna’s heading on Tumblr (I think?).  

Taylor doesn’t have a copyright on the word, but if Kelsea were trying to reference Gaylor things, that would be a good way to do it.  In Long Story Short, Taylor describes being at the top, then falling down (kinda like this song) then clinging to the nearest lips. . .

…[Bridge]/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

In one of Taylor’s gayest songs, she uses “gravity” to describe the pull she has to a dangerous partner/type of love.  And Taylor says that other person (Dianna?) is quicksand.  Meaning not stable, fickle, here and gone.  Sort of like this song is saying Taylor is in and out, bringing Kelsea love to make her high, then leaving and making Kelsea fall to the ground, sad and lonely.

But I know now/I should’ve known gravity was gonna pull/You and me, down, down, down

A second song of Taylor’s uses “gravity” to describe her inability to stay away from this lover/love that’s bad for her brand.  Dancing with Our Hands Tied aka the Kissgate song, is another of Taylor’s gayest songs.  So it’s funny that this song talking about a love interest that is fickle and leaving all the time, talks about that love interest feeling scared about homophobia.  Taylor, loves Karlie, but doesn’t want to get caught as WLW and lose her career success.  So she runs away and hides, despite love.  And Kelsea is acknowledging that not only Kaylor takes Taylor away from their relationship, but Taylor’s skittishness about being out(ed) is a barrier to her being emotionally/romantically available.

But I know now/…[Outro]/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)/I guess they call it fallin’/(I guess they call it fallin’, ah-ah, ah)

Finally, one of Taylor’s songs that uses “falling” perfectly encapsulates the meaning of this song.  

Taylor tells Dianna to stay with her instead of leaving all the time.  Taylor fell in love, but it’s not happy, it’s cruel because Dianna is worlds away.  Now the shoe is on the other foot and Taylor is worlds away while Kelsea is sad when she’s gone.

If you were only gonna let me go/Ah-ah, ah, ah-ah

Kelsea Ballerini Tells Taylor She’s Being as Fickle as the Weather as Long as She’s Not Over Kaylor

29 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.

[ellipses indicate lines I omitted.  Highlighted text is her lyrics, plain text is my commentary]:

Weather

I’ve been thinkin’ you’ve been thinkin’ ’bout something else (Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm)

I suspect at least 10 songs on Taylor’s last (true vs re-recordings) album Evermore contain Karlie references.

The, I Bet You Think About Me music video dropped 11/15/21 was practically overt in it’s Karlie images and symbolism.

On the left, music video groom on the right, Jo$h Ku$hner, Karlie’s husband:

Taylor knocks the groom over on the wedding cake:

I think she’s going for some symbolism here:

And Taylor eats a cherry: 

Whatever the red scarf represents (many Swifties say it’s Taylor’s virginity)…  Taylor gave it to the bride:

At the first dance, the groom (Jo$h) pulls the bride in, and to me, it looked like a “you’re mine” gesture.  As in Jo$h made known he owns Karlie, or there is a contract, or he will keep her:

When Taylor/bride walks away from the dance, she shows us red sneakers under the wedding dress.  I’m sure you can guess who else wore sneakers under her wedding gown?  It’s Karlie.

And in the lyrics of this same vault track I think Taylor snuck in a more modern reference to some shoes that Karlie was recently marketing:

Aside from this video, as well as a preponderance of lyrics from folklore, Evermore, and some vault tracks, and the general sadness on Taylor’s face and in her voice for every event/performance she’s attended since 2020–the new album about to drop is called Midnights.

Karlie is a spokeswoman for this Midnight perfume released July of 2022:

And Taylor, wearing silver (right picture), said TS10 will be called Midnights.  A month later:

And during this Midnights Era, Taylor wore gold, which is similar in aesthetic to the gold in Karlie’s Midnight perfume ad.

This was not an exhaustive list of the times Taylor has referenced Karlie in recent times.  So you can see why Kelsea would feel the person she’s talking to in the song (Taylor?) is thinking about something else–breakup with Karlie.

Yeah, we felt perfect, now I’m nervous, can you even tell? (Oh,oh)

This headline says, “. . . perfect for a date. . .”  when Taylor and Kelsea were photographed shopping together.  It just might fit with the perfect lyric if Kelsea is trying to contrast the current unsettled times in a relationship, where someone is not over their ex, and maybe a flight risk, with the good times they had.

Did I wake you up on the wrong side of the bed?

Kelsea just might be alluding to Taylor sleeping with Karlie, and the image that Taylor snuck into her video while dressed in drag.  In The Man music video Taylor, as the man, gets out of bed with a slender woman.  And when the man gets out of the bed, this sun-looking item on the wall is obscured, bringing “my loaded gun, my eclipsed sun” lyrics from Hoax (a song probably about the Kaylor break-up) to mind.  Make of that what you will.  

Is there someone’s body that you’d rather be laying with instead?

The line in this song might be intended to conjure the mental image of that video clip and its wink to Kaylor.  Also, the expression ‘wrong side of the bed’ means grumpy, bad day, etc…  Kelsea (if my theory pans out about her and Taylor being together in some manner) may be telling Taylor that she’s acting moody, and negative, and grumpy, because she is missing a different person in the bed (Karlie).  Or missing the person that used to be on that side of the bed (Karlie).  Without more info it’s hard to say for sure, but if all these references across Kelsea’s new album are about Taylor, I can see how anyone would have had enough of their fling/new relationship/GF being hung up on an ex.

I’m so tired of your weather/Stormy when we’re together/Yeah, we used to be sunny and seventy-five/We wеre dancing, baby, rain or shine

Kelsea met Taylor June of 2015.  And they danced at that first party:

…Now somehow, I need a sweater

Kelsea is possibly talking about the cardigans Taylor sent her close friends for the folklore rollout (for the song/single, Cardigan):

Aside from this lyric possibly talking about the cardigan gift, a deeper meaning could be Taylor’s album/era.  During folklore, it was clear in a lot of lyrics that Kaylor were breaking up or broken up, and Taylor didn’t want that.  It’s full of regret and longing, and Taylor seems very preoccupied with Karlie in this time frame.  If Taylor had seen, was currently seeing Kelsea, or even if Kelsea wished Taylor would see her as a love interest–Taylor’s heartbreak over Karlie would get in the way.  It would not be happy, sunny times, it would be gloomy, sad times that made Kelsea feel chilly and left out. 

How’d we go from summer to cold as ice?

The romance with this person went from steamy and hot and comfortable to distant and chilly.  If Taylor was unable to move on from an ex, or held out hope of getting back with Karlie, it would put a relationship with Kelsea on the back burner.  

In Taylor’s The Lakes, she says she can’t move on.  And Taylor wishes Karlie would come back to where they had been (in the closet together) in total privacy.  The red rose is a Kaylor reference we talked about earlier, and the ice frozen ground is all the depression and loneliness and heartache and chilliness toward one another.  In Taylor’s wishful thinking Karlie and her could be together and that difficult, calamitous love, is causing her a grief she can’t overcome.

Right Where You Left Me is another of Taylor’s songs that uses frozen imagery to show she is not moving on from the Kaylor breakup:

Because Taylor can’t move on from the Kaylor breakup, any relationship between Kelsea and Taylor cannot move forward either.  If Taylor is frozen in place to where she had been with Karlie, it would be distant and chilly inside any relationship between Kelsea and Taylor.  Kelsea is left out in the cold, feeling the aloofness of a Taylor stuck in the past, or in a fantasy in her head.

Are we really lovers if you’re changing your mind/Like the weather? (Weather)

Taylor can’t decide if she wants to pine and be heartbroken about Karlie, or if she wants to move forward with someone new.  She is not committed, and Kelsea can feel how this person she’s trying to be in a relationship with is fickle, running hot, then cold as her moods change.

Uh-huh, oh/Get in or get out

Kelsea tells Taylor to either be present in the relationship with her or be alone wishing that Kaylor would have worked out.

But honestly, right now, you’re killin’ my vibe/(Killin’ it, killin’ it, killin’ it)/(Killin’ it, killin’ it, killin’ it)/So, if you wanna stay stuck in the clouds/Keep ’em around but not in my sky (Mm-hmm)

Taylor doesn’t own clouds.  Put clouds and sky were constant themes in the Lover era.  

Me! video:

Taylor didn’t want to date the man, nor did she want this man’s hand in marriage.  She accepted a kitten.  She’s saying no to men here.

Many Gaylors think Kaylor broke up or were on and off before 2019, and the Lover era was Taylor trying to get Karlie back. Evidence for the beginning of the Lover era wooing Karlie back are the lyrics around New York and the butterfly mural commission:

I think the commissioned mural looks a lot like Karlie’s Victoria’s Secret wings!

Here is a well-worded comment from a Gaylor on Reddit that explains the many reasons the Lover album isn’t a romantic love story, it’s a plea to Karlie; begging her to get back together:

Kelsea using “stuck in the clouds” in this song is not accidental.  A lot of the Lover album, imagery, videos and roll-out focused on the sky.

When Kelsea says you can stay stuck in the clouds, I think she means the mindset of trying to get Karlie back.  Just like in the Lover era.  And Kelsea tells Taylor, it’s fine if Taylor stays stuck in the Lover-era clouds, pining for Karlie, but not in her sky.  Kelsea doesn’t need anyone who is moody and hung up on their ex.

When it hits the fan, I don’t know who you’re gonna be/I’m not asking for much, just a little reliability

Kelsea is emphasizing the point that Taylor’s heartbreak about Kaylor is making her a flake in their relationship.

I’m so tired of your weather/Stormy when we’re together/Yeah, we used to be sunny and seventy-five

The number/temperature 75 is very specific.  Kelsea is saying her and Taylor(?) used to be happy, but are now gloomy.  And I found this tweet from Kelsea:

It is exactly the same temperature in the lyric!  If we can find out who Kelsea saw in L.A. on July 1, 2022 (or the few days before) we will know who this song is about!

I tried to figure out where Taylor was late June to July 1 of this year, 2022, and had a very difficult time (since I don’t know anything about Jet tracking).  If anyone can get the jet data, or other sources showing if Taylor Swift was at her L.A. house June-July, we’d be one step closer to knowing if this song is about her.

This was as close as I could get to narrowing down where Taylor was:

June 11, 2022 (Tribeca Film Festival, NY)

July 4, 2022

…[Bridge]

Baby, talk to me/Tell me what you need/Don’t leave me hanging anymore

Taylor’s song, Cowboy Like Me has a lyric about hanging.

Skeletons in the closet means a dirty secret.  Something bad in your past you hide from others.

It’s funny Taylor mentions closets in this context.  I’d say part of the point of this song is having gay-dar and being able to identify other gays (because you’re one too, so you know the signs).  And gay people hide in the closet before they’re out.  A secret and hiding in the closet??!

Here’s an excerpt about the Gardens of Babylon:

As a sidenote: The central club in America’s Queer as Folk series, about mostly gay men and a pair of lesbians, was called Babylon.

The fact that another track on Kelsea’s same album called, Love is a Cowboy really puts it over the top!

…  Are we really lovers if you’re changing your mind/Like the weather? (Weather)

And the word, “Lovers” to end the song???  OMG.  I think I’m on to something here.

Kelsea Ballerini Promises Not to Out Someone (Taylor Swift?) Because it Would Out Her Too

25 Sep

Disclaimer:

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” (can we retire that word?!) as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse of anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  

IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)

I’ve known you since Brad and Angelina

Brad and Angelina got together on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in 2005.  They collected children, and then got engaged in April of 2012.  The wedding took place in August 2014.  Angelina filed for divorce August 2016.  So that puts the timeline anywhere between 2005 and 2016, with the actual marriage between 2014-2016.  Kelsie and Taylor met in 2015.

Taylor’s Tweet:

Taylor invites Kelsea to her friend, Abigail’s birthday party:

…If I got an aisle with a mess I gotta clean up

A double entendre–clean up a mess on aisle 7, and also walking down an aisle to marry, cleaning up that mistake with divorce.

Kelsie learning about herself and realizing she had been forced into a straight marriage?  She had to use a lot of introspection and therapy to realize she was in a comp-het situation, and un-learn her heteronormative training.  And when she was finished with that she realized the man had to go.

I know you’ll be showin’ up with bleach, hmm

This reminds me of Taylor’s song, No Body No Crime:

Taylor was going to clean up a mess of a different marriage that ended in that song.

This line could also be a reference to hair bleach.

The Met Gala of Getaway Car fame.

Depending on the narrative you believe, this is the night Taylor left Calvin Harris for Tom Hiddleston.  It has also been said Taylor met Joe Alwyn at the 2016 Met Gala.  If you’re a Kaylor, you know it’s the night Taylor ditched 2 beards (Calvin and Tom), arranged a long term beard (Joe), and ran away from Jo$h Ku$hner (Karlie’s long term BF/beard) with Karlie.  A lot was happening that night!  Been in each of those scenarios Taylor, with her bleachella hair, was leaving a relationship.  And Kelsea is talking about leaving her marriage.

All those names that we don’t ever speak of

Kelsie and Taylor both have had their share of feuds and exes:

Got a couple nights that have slipped my mind/Proof and photographs have been deleted

I found this headline by Googling their names:

https://country925.iheart.com/alternate/amp/2018-05-09-kelsea-ballerini-and-taylor-swift-in-towels/

I included the link so you can see I didn’t do any fancy cutting and pasting–the image that used to be on that provocatively headline was removed… Just like Kelsea said in the song…

If you ever needed an alibi/’Cause dirt on you is dirt on me/And we both know our hands ain’t clean/If it all blows up and we end up on the news

Here’s another headline with a deleted picture that I came across:

Taylor’s song, Delicate is about the nervousness of getting closer to someone when you’re first seeing each other.  There’s an added layer of precariousness in the song because this date is between two gals.  There’s an anxiety about going for this relationship, but also a lot of sexual chemistry.  It’s pretty steamy, really:

Kelsie doing a cover of that particular song is very loud to me.

If you go down, I’m going down too/It’s a good thing we’re each other’s kinda crazy/Ain’t no judgment or keepin’ score

Kelsie might be referencing Taylor’s song, hoax, where Taylor references her painful breakup with Karlie:

In, False God Taylor told us she’s New York City:

And Karlie Kloss was the West Village:

So part of me back in New York is saying Taylor had her heart in NY, but had to leave because she can’t bear to be reminded of Karlie everywhere she goes.  The keeping score bitter line in Taylor’s heartbreak song is what Kelsea brings up in this song–she won’t do that to Taylor like Karlie did.

If you rob a bank, I’m your getaway Mercedes

God knows that’s what friends are for/’Cause dirt on you is dirt on me/And we both know our hands ain’t clean/If it all blows up and we end up on the news/If you go down, I’m going down too/If you go down, I’m going down too, yeah/I keep all your secrets by the dozen

These lines have to be about closeting and outing.  If these two had a fling or shared their secrets that gives each one of them ammunition and leverage over the other.  One cannot out the other without outing themselves. 

I think rather than a threat, this is meant to calm Taylor.  She does not want to be outed and is always fearful that she will get recognized by everyone as WLW before she’s ready, so Kelsea is saying, don’t worry, I can’t out you because I would be outing myself.  And since they’re both singers they both understand what they would be losing by being outed. It’s a sort of consolation that the gayness of it all will remain secret.

You know where my skeletons sleep

Kelsie may be talking about Taylor’s song, Cowboy Like Me here:

In the song Taylor is saying she does stuff purely for money.  Bandits, tricks up my sleeve, takes one to know one all indicate she has met someone just like her–pretending to like rich people or date men so rich people approve in order to get the money/fame.

Forever is the sweetest con is a line that I think speaks to lavender marriage.

Hypothetically, if you ever kill your husband

Kelsie is using this as an exaggeration of something terrible that she would still keep a secret.  It does double-duty here being a call-back to Taylor’s No Body No Crime:

And also could be speaking about “killing” the bearding contract.  Killing the idea of being married to a man.  Killing the charade.  And if Taylor decides to ditch Joe and other beards, Kelsea says she will still never tell that Taylor is WLW or that they had/have? a thing.

Hand on the Bible, I’d be lyin’ through my teeth/’Cause dirt on you is dirt on me/And we both know our hands ain’t clean/If it all blows up and we end up on the news/If you go down, I’m going down too/Our bodies are buried and they’re in the same ditch/So even if I wanted to, I can’t snitch/30 to life would go quicker with you, yeah/So, if you go down, I’m going down too/If you go down, I’m going down too/If you go down, I’m going down too

This song to me, is an acknowledgement that Kelsea knows a secret about Taylor, and has that same secret.  I don’t know if they were just honest with each other, or had a fling, or are dating, but this song is LOUDLY about closeting and being outed.

One Taylor Reference Might be a Coincidence, But a Dozen? That’s a KELincidence

25 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  For more Kelsea-centric content, see my album review from 12/8/20:

And my Top 12 songs from 1/6/17:

Now on to the clues in Kelsea’s new album!

THE LITTLE THINGS

Save your money on the roses, baby/Just leave a daisy on the dashboard

The first few lines are Kelsea rejecting romantic gestures like roses and idealized prince on a white horse rescuing a’la heteronormative tropes.  Kelsea is saying she’s OK with breaking all the straight-dating-rituals and norms for this relationship.  

Also, these lines tie directly to Taylor, and pretty blatantly.  On first listen to the album, these were the lines that clued me into the fact Kelsea might like women–and specifically, Taylor. 

At one point Taylor was using so much rose imagery that fans speculated her next album might be called Roses.  

At another point, fans speculated that Kelsea’s new track, ROSES was a collaboration with Taylor:

Interesting…

Remember Taylor’s song Gold Rush? This product is called Rose Blush:

Walk past, quick brush/I don’t like slow motion double vision in rose blush

Here are other examples of roses/gardens in Taylor’s work:

  • Love Story: So I sneak out to the garden to see you
  • Blank Space: Rose garden filled with thorns
  • Cruel Summer: And I snuck in through the garden gate every night that summer just to seal my fate
  • Betty: Would you tell me to go fuck myself or lead me to the garden?
  • Betty: In the garden would you trust me if I told you it was just a summer thing?
  • Cowboy Like Me: Now you hang from my lips like the Gardens of Babylon

Here’s some more interesting rose/flower/garden incidents in Kaylor:

Taylor is twinning with Karlie’s cover from 5/21/18 when she collects are folklore Grammy on 3/15/21.

And again here Taylor is undeniably twinning with Karlie’s 9/13/21 Met dress for her I Know You Think About Me video announcement/promo on 11/14/21:

And daisies.  Let’s not forget how important daisies are in the story of Kaylor.

The Big Sur road trip was epic in the start of Taylor and Karlie’s love story.  With many lyrics referencing it, the daisy on the DASHBOARD, daisy tag on Karlie’s social media, and the same daisy in Taylor’s liner notes–it’s one of the biggest proofs for Kaylor.

In other words those 2 lines of Kelsea’s song are telling her new romance to leave Karlie behind and stop with all the roses/daisies/gardens to focus on the little things with her.

Don’t gotta ride in on a white horse

That is a literal title of one of Taylor’s first hit songs.  And that song also fits the theme of this song about rejecting heteronormative indoctrination:

Kelsea is saying she doesn’t want a Prince Charming on the white horse to rescue her. She wants a non-stereotypical love that means more to her because of little things rather than grand gestures of Disney movies and rom-coms.

When you’re younger they say it’s a kiss in the rain

Again, I’m not saying Taylor has a copyright on “rain” the word, imagery, metaphor, symbolism–it’s pretty common in writing.  But there is a preponderance of rain songs, especially kissing in rain songs in Taylor’s work, so if you were trying to reference her this might be a subtle way to do it:

Throwing rocks at a window

Taken alone, this line is just a common writing theme.  As the fourth very close association to Taylor things in one song, in a row–it seems intentional on Kelsea’s part that she wants the listener to be reminded of Swift.  The next line of Kelsea’s song could also be a reference to another early Taylor Swift song, Ours:

 And Ours just happens to have one of the same messages contained within Kelsea’s track 1:  Subject to Change.  That society may judge LGBT love, but the happiness of the individual must be prioritized so the relationship is pursued even so.  

But it’s when we’re in a crowded room, put your hand on my back

This line reminds me of the themes in at least 3 Taylor Swift songs:  Ours that we just talked about.  Taylor’s line, 

They’ll judge it like they know about me and you/And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do

When people see a same sex couple, they’re not sure if they’re just friends, or if the two people are in a relationship, especially straight people!  Heteronormativity works hard.  When Taylor says they know about me and you, she’s saying people are speculating that she and the person she’s talking about in the song are not just friends, but gay together.  Furthermore, those gossiping people disapprove and stigmatize anything that is not straight.  So Kelsea’s line makes me think of a covert couple in a public space.  They can appear as friends to safely avoid further scrutiny or judgment.  Because when it’s a woman’s hand on another gal’s back, heteronormativity says they’re just friends!  

The second song of Taylor’s that this line makes me think about is, I Know Places:

Pretty much that whole song is an expansion of the line we talked about in Ours.  Same theme.  “Friends” out in a public space, and someone inside that secret relationship daringly depends on heteronormativity to make their gesture of love to appear as just friendly.  It’s both daring and safe for a female couple to touch out in front of the public.  People usually chalk it up to friendship.  But there are the gossips that want to call it out as WLW and disparage it.  So for the couple there is always that fear of being exposed.  And in Taylor’s case, she says she hides the relationship away from prying eyes so they can love safely. 

The third of Taylor’s songs that Kelsea’s line reminds me of is, So It Goes… 

I think Kelsea is talking about the same phenomenon Taylor speaks of with “magician” and “illusionist” in public spaces.  When this couple is out on the town, they appear straight.  Maybe they’re flirting with guys, or “dating” a guy.  They can do small coupley things that the naysayers will interpret as female friendship, but this couple is on high alert not to get caught.  But Taylor’s song is saying when they’re alone, it’s “wear you like a necklace” time.  

And waiting on me in the morning with my coffee black…

It’s wine and vinyl, my head on your shoulder…

Reminder, I know Taylor doesn’t have the only references to drinking in any song.  But also, if you were talking about Taylor Swift, it might be apt to mention alcohol.  Taylor’s discography has at least 11 lines that talk about wine, not counting all the champagne/beer/whiskey/cocktails/drunk references.  And it wouldn’t be surprising that two artists might hang out listening to vinyls, signing vinyls, or otherwise listening to music and doing merch.

Used to think it would be a backseat sex scene/Drawing hearts on the window…

A clear callback to the song, Heartfirst where she met a man at a party and went to the car with him. But the line here says, USED to think.  So Kelsea has changed her mind about what love is to her.  Which she clearly tells us on the first track.

Just pull me in and kiss me slow/Ooh, it ain’t just for show (it ain’t just for show)

And this line reminds me of Taylor’s Peace:

Peace describes half of the couple being blue and depressed.  The other person says they will be there for them, warm their heart, die for them.  But only privately.  Outsiders think the love is PR or just friends, but they don’t know the real story.  Their love is a hidden secret and it’s true and deep, but also the person asks is this secret relationship going to be enough for you?    

(Ah) let’s not go big, let’s just go home

I know, I know the concept of “home” is not owned by Taylor.  But also lyrics of Taylor’s that contain the word…

home {also in Exile and Peace and Tears Ricochet}

~[Cornelia Street from Lover = “leading us home” “I took the long way home“]

~[Cruel Summer from Lover = “…I cried like a baby coming home from the bar”]

~[Delicate from Reputation = “do the girls back home touch you like I do?”]

~[Gorgeous from Reputation = “guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats”]

~[I Think He Knows from Lover = “I’ll make myself at home“]

~[Lover from Lover = “take me out and take me home (forever and ever)”]

~[Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince from Lover = “I think you should come back home“]

~[New Year’s Day from Reputation = “or if you strike out and you’re crawling home“]

~[Paper Rings from Lover = “went home and tried to stalk you on the internet”]

~[Style from 1989 = “takes me home” “just take me home“]

So here, Kelsea is offering to be the one to take Taylor home.  She’ll provide peace and stability, just the little things.

Kelsea Ballerini Just (softly) Came Out, and is possibly with Taylor Swift

25 Sep

OK this is going to be all about Taylor because I’m trying to convey the connections I noticed. And maybe some of it is a “reach” (can we retire that word?!) as the more mean-girl Gaylors and the homophobes accuse of anything that’s outside the well-established narrative.  I heard many things, that alone, didn’t mean much, but compiled all together made me think, hmmmmm.  So this is me looking at Kelsea’s work through a frame of trying to find proof she is into women and also that her and Taylor had a fling/are together/are WLW besties–something is there!  But please know that I like Kelsea Ballerini as an artist, on her own terms.  For more Kelsea-centric content, see my album review from 12/8/20:

And my Top 12 songs from 1/6/17:

Which, by the way has some lines that pop out to me

[ellipses indicate lines I omitted.  Highlighted text is her lyrics, plain text is my commentary]:

And I’m unapologetically in love… /No matter where it takes me/Even if it breaks me…

A love that breaks you because it breaks social norms?

And it don’t even phase me/When they call me crazy

Why would people call this cute blonde country singer crazy for being in love with a man?  Maybe it’s a woman and homophobes not understanding same sex love?

I’m unapologetically in love…/So I could care less if I’m being careless/Might wreck me to be reckless

Why would a straight relationship be unpalatable to people?  Why does Kelsea feel like she has to justify this relationship in the song?  What is careless or reckless about a cis, white, upper-class, woman dating a man?  Maybe it’s reckless because it’s a same sex pairing?

But I’d rather fall apart than/Love half-hearted

Love half-hearted sounds like comp-het to me.  Loving a man doesn’t fulfill her even if it’s more socially acceptable, so she is taking the chance to fall apart (risk her career/fame/money/social status) to be with a woman.  Because being with a woman is loving with her whole heart.

Yeah, maybe it’s true that you know when you know…

We are all raised in a heteronormative society.  From the time we are little, people are pairing up boys with girls.  There’s nothing to know when straight is considered the default.  But this you know when you know could be talking about finding the one, sure.  But also it could mean she realized she likes women.

…keeps my eyes starry so

I heard starry eyed references a lot in the new album.  And I have this theory that I want to publish and time-stamp:  Taylor Swift has an album coming out Oct 21 (a month after Kelsea’s album just came out referencing starry eyes a lot) and it’s called Midnight.  I predict Taylor is going to indicate love went from burning red to golden and Sun to more fake gold veneer to blue sadness to maybe starry?  

Slow motion double vision in ROSE BLUSH

From TS Daylight:

Stars in eyes.  Not one sun, but all the stars in the (night) sky?  We’ll see if this comes to fruition. 

I’m so sorry for not being sorry

On to the new stuff on this brand new album! 

Song titles written in all caps (contrasting to the all lowercase of folklore).

SUBJECT TO CHANGE- There is the surface meaning of this song.  And I’m not talking about that, I’m reading into it.  

Seasons do it

I know, Taylor doesn’t own seasons, or the concept of seasons indicating changes.  But also, she conveys things in terms of seasons a LOT:

also somebody compiled all of Taylor’s lyrics mentioning a season:  

And it happens when the night goes day

Like the evolution of dark, moody Reputation to the butterflies and sunshine Lover, Kelsea is mentioning a night to day transition. 

Going through it, I knew it/The right and the hard thing are sometimes the same…

Thank God, I got a strong gut feeling/Leading me to somewhere new

To me this sounds like Kelsea discovered she liked women, and now is “new” to dating them.

This sounds like internalized homophobia with all the talk of fear and uncertainty.  Therapy may have caused the growth and metamorphosis (like caterpillar to BUTTERFLY).  And “unravel the architecture” sounds like dismantling, un-learning.  Built by youth = indoctrination, social-learning/norms, COMP-HET, anyone?!

But if one thing’s the same/It’s that I’m subject to change, yeah…/A little unpredictable, I confess

This is foreshadowing, people. For those of us in the know, Kelsea’s softly coming out here. For the general public who is clueless, she’s telling her audience/the world that there could be, or there’s going to be something changing about her.  Don’t set your expectations on the image we know of Kelsie, because there is this new thing she is about to become–WLW?

If I’m honest

BIG PAUSE

This pause is LOADED.  She is not brave enough (yet) to tell her truth, but Kelsea is sure hinting at it.  She says, “if I’m honest” and in the pause you think: Honest about what?  Is she going to tell us some news?  Is this secret contained in the pause the change being talked about in this song?  My guess is yes, it’s a newly realized, and now actualized knowledge she’s, “not straight” as Julianne Hough said.  Maybe a gay relationship of some kind…

Growing up, it kind of hurts like hell

Growing up different, or being different but not knowing why hurts.  Being bullied for being different leaves scars.  Knowing you’re different and not acknowledging it, or actively hiding it, is hell.  She could be talking about regular growing pains, but within the context of the song she could also be talking about growing up gay.

It’s chaotic, ironic

But it’s how I learn to find myself…

I’m going to put an excerpt in that says what I think this line is about:

I don’t think about the chapters/It’s all about turning the page/And that’s alright (Yeah, that’s alright, yeah, that’s alright)

And finally, she gives herself permission to love woman publicly, and tells the world also, that it’s OK–because it is!

Ranking of Brandi Carlile’s Catalog

4 Jul

I’m about to go to a Brandi concert for my birthday, so I thought I would rank her songs. I used the same judging format that I did for the Indigo Girls and Taylor Swift, so check out those entries for the logistics and math (yes this is a quantitatively judged ranking).  Here is Brandi Carlile’s studio album (not lives or reworked. Yet.) songs from skip to best.  The later in this list, the better the song:

Skip:

82. Keep Your Heart Young-

This one is a skip for several reasons (and none of them are that it’s a bad or un-entertaining song).  It’s wildly loved by the fandom, and they play it at many a concert–so it’s just overheard by me.  More than that, this song in particular signaled a genre change that I didn’t want, as a fan of the original iteration of the band.  It’s good, it’s fine.  But prior to this, Brandi was too cool for school.  She was hipster and edgy and an alternative-something mid-20 (Me.  And Cool.) would really aspire to.  This song was the first homey, country, down-home, ‘mom’ folksy song.  I’m still mad at it.  But I am glad now that Brandi got a Grammy she’s returning more to the 2015-ish sound.  I hope she’ll do more rock in the future.  Or at least sneak it in.

Meh:

81. Heroes and Songs

80. Oh Dear

79. Just Kids-

The best of the meh category. It’s a great album ending, but not as good as a stand alone song.  The ambient noise is really cool.  It’s just too long and slow of a track when not used as a closer.

Neutrals:

78. Beginning to Feel the Years-

Slow. Brighter singing tone and a chorus. It doesn’t sound like Brandi very much.

77. If there was No You

76. Sixty Years On-

Voice cracks in this version. Symphony version is better, but I decided not to do any extra albums this go-around.  I might add them in later because I think I skipped at least 2, and maybe a third.

75. Murder in the City

It’s too much a copycat of a different band. Don’t like the talking through the song style. What a waste of Brandi’s pipes. The backing harmonies and strings sound good though.

74. You and Me on the Rock-

73. I Belong to You

72. Save a Part of Yourself-

Catchiness to the song. claps but harmonies and Italian snippets too.

71. Every Time I Hear that Song

70. By the way I forgive you.

69. Happy

Amber-lee. Writing is good for break-up song.

68. Someday Never Comes

Goods:

67. . Hearts Content

66. Stay Gentle

I like when Brandi is at least a little edgy. This is too sweet and leaves me Wanting another component in the song.

65. Wilder

Maybe it’s the way the band is mic-ed up to catch the harmonies but Brandi sounds echoy in a low quality way. Harmonies are nice, but nobody wants this one slowing down every concert as they are doing.

64. Blood Muscle Skin and Bone-

That first sound is so different and interesting! It doesn’t sound like Brandi singing for a lot of it. The claps and wailing 1950s harmony come off as a little cheesy. I do like the snare fast beat.

63. Fulton County Jane

There just a touch of yodal and it’s excellent.

62. 100

This one has an instrumental bridge with slight tension. At the Gorge, they played this with the tympani and it was the best version of this song!  If that was the album version, it would easily be an awesome.

61. Throwing Good After bad-

😞 Detailed.  Some lyrical complexity but slow and depressing. (Gr)

60. Letter to the Past

Passionate singing. Note. Built to last totally takes me out of the song and into a car commercial. It’s the last impression of the song and always makes me drop the rank a few spots bc it’s so jarring.

59. Gone

Waltz backing. Simple song. Nice bridge with twin harmony.

58. In the Morrow-

Low key. High notes just at end. Some kind of bango/subtle bluegrass really makes this song! There is a rise in the music & singing.

57. Cannonball (G-Gr)

56. The Eye

Too copycat of Fleetwood Mac. It seems like the band was lost during Firewatchers Daughter. They wanted that Grammy and more mainstream success but didn’t know how to go about it. This is one that I dislike it not for the song as much as what it indicated the direction the band was taking. Still, beautiful harmonies.

55. This Time Tomorrow

Nice and prominent harmonies but in a more authentic way to the band. Not as much of a copycat song.

54. Most of All

Talks about her parents. I like the sentiment and the growth. Notes. Harmony. Sentimental without being saccharine.

53. A Promise to Keep

More catchy, stronger writing than blood .. Backing Cello gives lots of resonance.

52. When You’re Wrong

Prelude to in these Silent Days. Haunting.  Tells a full story. Scream-wail is emotive and a good end.

51. Tragedy-

Notes put it over cannonball. (G-Gr)

We’re getting into the top 50 songs in the catalog:

50. Until I Die (G-Gr)

Over tragedy bc the jam and beat is more. Prominent twin harmonies.

49. Turpentine-

Low register. Catchy. This is another one that’s an awesome when done with the symphony. The symphony version is definitely over The Joke, but this one is pretty short.

48. The Joke-

I’m a bit mad at this song too. I see it as pure Grammy pandering. And as you can see, I ranked it at one point, then forgot to put it in the writing somehow-oops. Major infraction is this is the song the led most people to discover the band. I’m in the camp that it’s overrated. It was a moment in time, and Brandi hyped it up big-time. It is a good song with a good meaning and singing moments. I just don’t think it’s even close to the best song (as you can see by the half-number–this might bother me a lot later and I’ll have to re-do the whole damn thing. But it’s July 4th so I’m going to leave it for now.

unpopular opinion- I think this song is overrated. It also bothers me that “I have seen how it ends” doesn’t quite fit in the alloted space. I think there’s 5 beats in the music but 6 syllables in the words and she extends “how” for 2 beats. She shoves 7 in a 5 so “it” gets lost. She could have fixed it so easily by saying “I’ve seen how it end” Also that concept is cliche.

47. I Will

More catchy than the Joke. Cello snippets are nice. Falsetto. Lyrics.

46. Wasted

Instrumental bridge. Lyrics.

45. Whatever You Do

Soft Cello. I love the line, “never said I’m sorry but I meant it.” Orchestral. scream note ending

44. Late Morning Lullaby

Call back to Dreams. More twin harmony. Exciting bridge. Singing and lyrics.

The fact there are 43 songs ranked great and higher speaks to the quality of Brandi Carlile’s work. The numbers sound pretty high, but these are all, solidly great to perfect songs:

Greats:

43. In My own Eyes-

Bridge different from the song. Captures a yearning sound in the singing. (Gr)

42. My Song-

Strong guitar. Angsty. Emotive singing. Visual lyrics. “My mind is full of razors” is such a good line.

41. The Mother-

I like that this is real, not saccharine. This one is always a crowd favorite.  I had this lower in the rank only because Brandi had played it at so many live shows I was at, and I got oversaturated with it.  Also, I’m not a mother.  But after seeing the YouTube video where Brandi plays it to the female inmates, I just…  Go watch it!  (G-Gr)

40. Shadow on the Wall-

Strong harmonies-more twins involvement is nice.

39. Caroline-

Upbeat.  unique tempo to the catalog. Elton John.

38. That Year-

I had ranked it quite a bit lower because it’s a slow song that is super-depressing.  Deals with suicide without stigmatizing the person. Detailed. But I had to move it up because it’s such a powerful story and heartfelt message.

37. Touching the Ground-

Lyrics. Catchy. (G-Gr)

36. Hiding My Heart-

Call back to the story.

35. Sugartooth

Tells an entire story. Heavy subject matter of addiction and suicide packaged in a surprisingly upbeat tune.

34. Follow-

Notes. More of an instrumental break down.  (G-Gr)

33. Throw It All Away-

Notes. Great visual lyrics. Deep. (G-Gr)

32. Losing Heart-

Catchy chorus. More beat. Interesting beat. (G-Gr)

31. Josephine-

Falsetto harmony. Catchy chorus. (Gr)

30. I’ll Still be There-

If it all- note. The song builds. Then it all gets even stronger at the end. Kind of melting the middle.  (G-Gr)

29. Downpour-

Can hear Cello well.  Low register. (G-Gr)

28. Fall Apart Again-

One of my fave lyrics in her whole catalog: “And I think the world of myself but the world doesn’t think much of me.” (Gr)

27. Have You Ever-

Really fun tempo and a beat like footsteps. Inclusive of twin harmonies. (Gr)

26. Looking Out-

More complex backing than Fall Apart. Suitcase on my chest. Afraid of… List. Someone loves you high note & rock out.  (G-Gr)

On to the top 25 songs in the catalog:

25. Again Today-

Low register. Speeds up and jams at the end. Twins are more involved than pride. More of a tone change than Pride & Joy. (Gr)

24. Pride and Joy-

Wow-singing is strong throughout the entire song. Very orchestral. Instrumental from soft to intense.  (Gr)

23. What Can I Say-

So catchy. Conveys longing and religion human failure without being OTT. (G-Gr)

Awesome:

22. Alibi-

Unique sound to her catalog. Softly alt-punk is a fun experiment without changing the whole genre. Good harmony and beat. A bit repetitive. The sticks at the end and syncopation make it interesting.

21. What Did I Ever Come Here for? 

I really identify with these lyrics of putting yourself out there, going back to someone comfortable. Wanting them to look at your intentions, then being rejected. Catchy also.

20. Party of One-

More complex. Lyrically based. Instrumental swell. Depressing. Once, Brandi actually responded to my tweet regarding this song! Screen-grab is going in the scrapbook.

19. Before it breaks-

Lyrics. Instrumental jam.

18. Harder to Forgive-

Good writing. I like how it calls out someone who traumatized her without being mean or over dramatic. Like a march. I think the echo effect is put to good use here.  kazoo. Breakdown. Scream note.

17. Mama Werewolf-

Concept & lyrics. I know this is going to be a major-favorite at the concert [P.S. I had originally used ‘mega’-favorite, as in the shark.  Big, large, upsize.  And fuck Trump for (among many, many, many other things) ruining that word.]

16. The Stranger at my Door

I love all the cowboy sounds embedded in this one. It’s western folksy in the best way. best ending!

The top 15 songs of the catalog:

15. Dying Day-

Prelude to all the ‘home is your heart’ series of songs. Low-register AND high notes-very strong singing.The ‘dum. Da da dun dum’ end of phrases are good.

14. Right on Time-

Notes! Base. I like the acknowledgement and accountability for hurting another.

13. Hold Out Your Hand-

I like how fast she sings. Then also how it slows on the chorus. It’s surprisingly high difficulty to get the verses out that fast. Notes. Is this the most FUN song in the catalog?!

12. Rise Again-

Faster. Notes! Beat. Twin harmony. Rocks out at the end.

11. The Things I regret-

The most awesome of the awesome songs.  Trying to convince herself to let herself be happy. High energy. more lyrical. Hand claps.

Elites:

10. That Wasn’t Me- 

It was the lead single for Bear Creek, but totally different from every other song on the album. The piano along with the harmonies sound nice. A good rehab song. Earnest.

9. Broken Horses- 

The singing is A+! Not only the notes but playing with voice. Lyrics are meaningful and full of symbolism. I like ending a relationship and also having no guilt about that. Standing up for yourself is important. I like the tempo changes. Maybe too many repetitive choruses. Broken Horses doesn’t mean breaking a horse, which bothers me.

8. Closer to You

More catchy than Broken Horses even if the notes don’t compare.

7. Sinners, Saints, and Fools-

Instrumentals sound full and great. The story is a fun concept and not too OTT churchy. Scream note! The strings squeaky. Piano is chaotic. Motorcycle end.

6. Wherever is Your Heart-

I like the sentiment. I like the underlying fast tempo. This song makes me excited. The notes in the chorus sound so good. Twin harmony. The Falsetto back there adds a lot. Beats. The slower refrain is an interesting change and conveys an inner dialogue and strife. This song is particularly good bc the instrumentals and singing style are very upbeat but the words are pretty sad and depressing. A tiny bit over Closer to You bc it starts slow and changes speed and has a notable bridge is generally more complex

5. Mainstream Kid-

It’s really fun to hear Brandi be more edgy. The social commentary of the lyrics is awesome.  I ranked this higher than the prior 2 sings (even though I love them both a lot) bc the singing is so powerful throughout. And also some extra points for taking a risk. Scream singing is fun and powerful. The guitar repeats, beat, and even handclaps are all good elements of the song that jazz me up. The pulsing and lower register prior to a growl note is such a good end!

4. Hard Way Home-

Harmony that sounds like sirens is a great opener. Love the pace it’s just like walking. I can really get behind the message of doing things the hard way. It speaks to me a bit more than Wherever is Your Heart’s subject matter. Love the “I’ll tell you how I wanna live… Lyric. The syncopation at the end makes me amped up!

Top 3 elites:

3. Dreams-

I like the beat and the more rock sound. The strong singing and harmonies are present but packaged in a harder, more rhythmic backing. Also, I’ll never forget seeing this one live at Spokane’s knitting factory. Brandi was so cute and cool and I wanted to meet her so bad!

2. Raise Hell-

This song never fails to make me hyped! I love the message and the yells during the sock. That beat and even the handclaps. Her singing! I love to sing this anytime especially at a concert. When Brandi opened for Dave at the Gorge, the poster we made said, “Raise Hell.”

#1 song of the whole catalog:

1. The Story-

I listened to each track 2-3 times with an open mind and based my ranking solely on each song’s merits. And it’s no surprise that the band’s originally most well known track landed on top of the list. It builds from slower to rock. And the notes! It’s always exciting to hear it, and now I like to watch the indoctrinated take it in for the first time. It captures the essence of the band.

My Notes and Deliberations:

BRANDI CARLILE CATALOGUE RANKINGS

Elite 10, Awesome 6, Great 3, Good 1, Neutral 0, Meh -3, Skip -6

Brandi Carlile 2005

  1. Follow” (Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 4:13 G-Gr 2
  2. “What Can I Say” (Tim Hanseroth) – 2:50 G-Gr 2.6
  3. “Closer to You” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 2:54 E 10
  4. “Throw It All Away” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:43 G-Gr 2.7
  5. “Happy” (Carlile) – 2:32 M-N -1 (3 listen kept spacing out)
  6. “Someday Never Comes” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 2:47 M -3
  7. “Fall Apart Again” (Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:37 Gr 3.1
  8. “In My Own Eyes” (Carlile) – 3:31 Gr 3
  9. “Gone” (Carlile, Paul Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:05 G 1
  10. “Tragedy” (Carlile) – 3:45 G-Gr 2.5

The Story 2007

  1. “Late Morning Lullaby” (Brandi Carlile) – 3:27 G 1
  2. The Story” (Phil Hanseroth) – 3:58 E 10 #1
  3. “Turpentine” (Carlile) – 2:58 G-Gr 2
  4. “My Song” (Carlile) – 4:28 G-Gr 2.4
  5. “Wasted” (Carlile) – 3:47 G 1.2
  6. “Have You Ever” (Phil Hanseroth) – 2:32  Gr 3.1
  7. “Josephine” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:02 Gr 2.9
  8. “Losing Heart” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth, Phil Hanseroth) – 3:35 Gr 3
  9. “Cannonball” (Carlile) – 3:52 G-Gr 1.2
  10. “Until I Die” (Carlile) – 4:06 G-Gr 1.5
  11. “Downpour” (Carlile) – 3:14 G-Gr 1.9
  12. “Shadow on the Wall” (Carlile, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:15 G-Gr 
  13. “Again Today” (Carlile) – 10:38 Gr 3.3 (after slow part really good )
    • Contains a hidden track, “Hiding My Heart” (Tim Hanseroth) G 1.1

Live at Easy Street 2007

  1. “Closer to You”
  2. The Story
  3. “Have You Ever”
  4. “Turpentine”
  5. “Fall Apart Again”
  6. “Downpour”
  7. “Josephine”

Give Up the Ghost 2009

  1. Looking Out” – 4:18 G-Gr 5
  2. “Dying Day” (Tim Hanseroth) – 3:33 Gr-A 4 (Brandi’s singing conveys longing perfectly. Ending note!)
  3. “Pride and Joy” – 4:20 Gr 3.1 (Starts slow & quiet and builds speed & intensity through the song. Instrumental break.)
  4. “Dreams” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:31 E 10 #3
  5. “That Year” – 3:35 Gr 3 (Lyrically dense and meaningful but also slow and depressing)
  6. “Caroline” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:36 Gr 3.3 (Fun song and Elton John)
  7. “Before It Breaks” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth) – 3:57 Gr-A 4.1 (The lyrics touch me. The instrumental break is strong.)
  8. “I Will” – 4:09 G
  9. “If There Was No You” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth) – 2:39 N
  10. “Touching the Ground” (Tim Hanseroth) – 3:17 G-Gr 4
  11. “Oh Dear” (Carlile, Phil Hanseroth) – 2:50 N-M

Live

Bear Creek 2012

Hard Way Home”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth3:21 E 10.1
2.“Raise Hell”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth E 10.2 #24:08
3.“Save Part of Yourself”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth N-G .53:22
4.That Wasn’t MeBrandi Carlile A-E3:42
5.“Keep Your Heart Young”Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth S3:20
6.“100”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth G 13:21
7.“A Promise to Keep”Tim Hanseroth G-Gr 2.54:02
8.“I’ll Still Be There”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth G-Gr 2.8 (high note)3:26
9.“What Did I Ever Come Here For”Phil Hanseroth A3:40
10.“Heart’s Content”Brandi Carlile G 0.9 (Cello. Sounds like Doris Day.)3:34
11.“Rise Again”Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth A4:11
12.“In the Morrow”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth Gr4:02
13.“Just Kids”Brandi Carlile, Jared Faw. M-N (Very slow. Like the cycling piano. Good to close the album. 6:47
Total length:50:56

Firewatchers Daughter 2015

TitleWriter(s)Length
1.“Wherever Is Your Heart”Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth3:50 A-E
2.“The Eye”Carlile, Tim Hanseroth3:35 G 0.9
3.“The Things I Regret”Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth3:26 Gr-A
4.“Mainstream Kid”Carlile, Tim Hanseroth4:19 E
5.“Beginning to Feel the Years”Phil Hanseroth3:08 G-Gr 1.5
6.“Wilder (We’re Chained)”Tim Hanseroth3:32 G 1.1
7.“Blood Muscle Skin & Bone”Phil Hanseroth4:16 G-Gr 2.0
8.“I Belong to You”Carlile4:30 N-G (end speeds up)
9.“Alibi”Tim Hanseroth3:00 A
10.“The Stranger at My Door”Carlile3:42 E (Cowboy gallop, twin’s backing. That sample at the end!)
11.“Heroes and Songs”Carlile2:47 M
12.“Murder in the City”Scott Yancey Avett, Timothy Seth Avett2:53 G 1.0

By the Way I Forgive You 2018

Every Time I Hear That Song”4:01N
2.The Joke4:39 G 1.1
3.“Hold Out Your Hand”4:22 A (The fast syncopation. Style of storytelling country like Jonny Cash)
4.“The Mother”3:17 G-Gr 1.3
5.“Whatever You Do”4:07 N-G
6.“Fulton County Jane Doe”4:43 G 0.9
7.“Sugartooth”4:28 Gr
8.“Most of All”3:51 G 1.2zs
9.“Harder to Forgive”4:06 A-Gr 4(When it slows down. And Brandi’s singing. Kazoo backing.)
10.“Party of One”5:47 A-Gr 3.5 (Depressing. I like how each piece of the song is like an entirely different song.)
Total length:43:25

In These Silent Days 2021


Length
1.Right on Time3:05 A 6.25
2.“You and Me on the Rock” (featuring Lucius)3:50 N (This song bothers me the same as when TS says, “talk real SLOW so your mama don’t e.” Like, what? I just start thinking- where does Brandi live and how did they dig the foundation if it’s on rock?  Steals the enjoyment.
3.“This Time Tomorrow”3:26 G 1.1
4.“Broken Horses”5:03 E
5.“Letter to the Past”3:40 G 1.4 (stonewall rubber band bothers me also)
6.“Mama Werewolf”3:41 A 6
7.“When You’re Wrong”4:26 N-G
8.“Stay Gentle”2:28 G 1
9.“Sinners, Saints and Fools”4:32 E #4
10.“Throwing Good After Bad”4:07 Gr
Total length:38:16

This Time Tomorrow [Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days]

20 Jan

The third track is This Time Tomorrow.

This song compares well with a few other songs in Brandi Carlile’s catalogue [see my post about these songs, Travelin’ Man: https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=11954&action=edit%5D. It’s a song from the perspective of a person that travels a lot, and is very busy. But in all of those songs, the narrator says their heart is always with the other person. And that narrator looks forward to physically being with their lover again. But this iteration is more downtrodden and hopeless, with lyrics like:

begins to grow faded/hard to see the ground on which you stand/feel like a stranger/carve a faith/broken spirit /hope that you hold tightly to has all but vanished/no words of comfort/lost and without love/fight to kill that deafening sound/holy dreams of yesterday aren’t gone/haunt us like the ghosts of Babylon

The light has gone out of the partner’s eyes. Not only can this partner not be counted on anymore to ground our troubled narrator, the main character is indicating that the other person is so unstable, the ground cannot even be seen. The lover isn’t grounded at all anymore.

Thus, instead of feeling comfort when physically home with the partner, the narrator feels lost, like a stranger. There is no familiarity anymore. Carving a faith is laborious and doesn’t come easily. Spirits were once hopeful, but now the partner left home is broken. The narrator holds their lover tightly, though every positive emotion has already vanished. Instead of coming home to comfort and love, the narrator only finds a stranger they have lost track of, and who gives them silence.

Through all theses signs of being over, the narrator insists their previous dreams (hopes) haven’t disappeared. Haunt us like ghosts of Babylon is saying their tangible love, which had the couple feeling so hopeful despite constant distance (and a damaged traveler) haunts them now. The love and hope and support are only ghosts of Babylon. Babylon was the club in Queer as Folk. Queers like to use it because it’s this supposed wonder of the world. It’s supposed to be a comforting, accepting place of beauty. But it might not have even existed. It’s a good stand-in for something hidden, ephemeral, or elusive. Which also describes these past positive feelings in this relationship.

You and Me on the Rock [Brandi Carlile In These Silent Days]

19 Jan

The second song on the album is, You and Me on the Rock. I think it’s a double meaning: Physically living on a rock, like rocky land, or a cliff, or some island? And also a relationship on the rock(s).

The first verse beautifully describes ice fishing in vivid detail. The point is transient shelters are built on an unstable, impermanent surface, fun is had during the season, then everything is cleaned up so you can’t tell anything was ever there. The song is also describing a relationship built on a slippery foundation, where both people knew it couldn’t last forever, but they had fun anyway. And now fishing season is over, so to speak.

The chorus is very co-dependent with the main character saying she can’t even stand to be apart from her lover while one is in the garden and the other is on a walk. The narrator says she doesn’t need their (our/the audience/fans) money, just her relationship/marriage.

The 2nd verse explains that the narrator didn’t build a strong, airplane out of her life, so to speak. She says it was paper (vs strong metal) and crooked (so it’s not a sound vessel to start with). Because of this faulty construction of both plane and person, ending up in the water has always been a consequence close at hand.

The narrator tells the other person (and us) that nobody cared about them in the way this wife(?) does. Nobody was asking why’s she so thin (unhealthy, not getting nourishment) and why’s she drinking again (ending up addicted or ‘in the water’). The narrator was close to crashing into the water when this other person caught her and saved her from that terrible fate (sloppiness? alcoholism?).

The bridge[is that what it’s called?] uses a tsunami as a metaphor for their relationship problems. It’s a big wave, but the couple can make it through. They will avoid the water together.

In the bigger picture of the album theme, the 1st song made clear there were relationship problems (caused by the narrator?) but this problematic main person doesn’t want to give up, and thinks things can get sorted out. In this 2nd song, the narrator acknowledges they are a bit faulty as a person, but that’s why they need their lover (as Taylor would say). And together crises can be averted.

Brandi Carlile: Right on Time

17 Jan

First of all, I don’t understand Brandi’s new look.

It’s like David Bowe & wild-days Elton John mashed up. I get that those were her heroes/idols, but the look is definitely a “show look” not street wear. So I figured it must be like an era (al la Taylor Swift) and probably fit the theme of the new album. But it was confusing that the twins didn’t change their look at all. They looked the same as they ever did. But I waited for the album, hoping it would fall into place once I heard it.

Nope.

I don’t know what’s happening. The album is not a funsy-disco, or campy gay theme, nor is it thematic like outer space, or anything that warrants a costumy look. So I chalk it up to midlife crises. And the album might support that view…

It opens with Right On Time– With the words, “It’s not too late” this song sets the album’s tone. The piano-driven, lyrically-centered tune reminds me of “That Wasn’t Me.” That latter song was the single off of Bear Creek which is apt, because I think that album was the beginning of the story arc discussed in this current album. I feel like Bear Creek was all excitement and hope for what was to come, all getting together and family-building. While In These Silent Days is the impending ending/inevitable divorce, maybe staying together unhappily in co-dependence

There are nice bits of electric guitar w/the piano, to show both regret and a bit of edginess. And oh, the singing! Brandi’s voice shines through this song, as well as every song on the entire album. She is always a stunner on vocals, but in each track she makes sure to showcase it, not in just one or two outstanding singles. In this album-opener, Brandi hits that high note. Twice. Then it’s an even higher note!

Brandi/the narrator of the song acknowledges bad behavior, which does warrant anger/hurt in the other person, but makes clear it’s not too late, and she(?) wants to try again. So this album starts at big relationship problems, and indicates things are about to fall apart. But the main character is grasping tightly, not wanting to give up and let go.

Re-rank Evermore

15 Jan

Last time I ranked the album, it had only been out a short time. The songs are mostly lyrically-based so it takes longer to appreciate them. I decided to rank them again now that I’ve listened a lot more.

Willow- Gr-G (it’s very catchy, but way too much “…man” repeats)

Champagne Problems- Gr (lyrically dense)

Gold Rush- A-Gr (Track 3?! Very visual of a song)

Tis the Damn Season- G-N

Tolerate It- A (Captures that gay feeling accurately)

No Body No Crime- A-Gr (What a fun song)

Happiness- G

Dorthea- G-N

Coney Island- G-S (Lots of repetition, and I think his singing is bad)

Ivy- A-Gr (super-gay!)

Cowboy Like Me-A

Long Story Short- A (Catchy AF)

Margorie- A (So sentimental for me)

Closure- A

Evermore- G (Too depressing)

Right Where You Left Me- N

It’s Time to Go- G-N

(A)wesome 5; A-Gr cusp 4.5; (Gr)eat 4; Gr-G cusp 3.5; (G)ood 3; Good-Neutral cusp 1; (N)eutral -1; Good to Skip cusp -1.5; (Meh) -3; (S)kip -6

5 A25; 2 A-Gr9; 1 GR4; 1 Gr-G3.5; 2 G6; 3 G-N3; 1 N-1; 1 G-S-1.5; 0M; 0S

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