Brandy Clark released her third studio album, Your Life is a Record almost a year ago, just as the world stepped into the recent pandemic.
Twelve months on, and the Morton County native earned two Grammy award nominations, one for Best Country Solo Performance for Who You Thought I Was, and one for Best Country Album for the wider record. It capped an unusual year, both in music and the wider world, with Clark admitting that whilst this wasn’t her first Grammy nomination, it was the most impactful given the situation.
"Not my first time, but definitely the most impactful time for me," she said in a recent interview. "We've all had to promote albums in a crazy time and pivot into no touring and doing what we do online. I think with the year we've been in, to have this album be acknowledged is really huge to me."
Uniquely, the only other albums in the Best County Album category were also all-female or female-fronted acts, an empowering occurrence that had Clark utterly delighted. “I do love that it's all women," she adds. "As women, I feel like we have to fight a little harder to be heard sometimes and so at least the Grammys are saying, 'We hear you.'"
Clark has gained a reputation as a smart storyteller and was once even described as one of the most talented songwriters on Music Row. Her output has certainly been consistent, and she alluded to her consistency when discussing her love of poker at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, back in 2017. Clark had been nominated as New Female Artist of the Year, an accolade she missed out on to Maren Morris, but she revealed ahead of the ceremony she was a fan of Texas Hold ‘em, explaining how she took time out from the awards to play poker games. When asked for some advice, she revealed a secret that perhaps not only describes her poker playing, but also her approach to her musical career.
“Be consistent, whatever you do, whatever you hold on to, whatever you throw away, be consistent with it. I get super excited and start grabbing all my chips to put them all in. No poker face, no bluff!”
That consistency has since helped Clark establish herself as a major force on the worldwide country scene. Big Day in a Small Town reached number eight on the US County Charts, and number three in the United Kingdom. Your Life is a Record might be nominated for a Grammy here in the US, but it was also recognized as a powerful and insightful album across the Atlantic, reaching number two in the UK charts.
Sadly, Clark missed out on both Grammy awards this year. She was pipped to Best Country Solo Performance by When Amy Prays by Vince Gill, whilst the Best Album went to Wildcard by Miranda Lambert. Clark is a long-time friend of Lambert, having appeared on her 2011 record Four The Record, and co-written the hits Two Rings Shy and Mama's Broken Heart.
Despite not picking up a gong, Clark has now been nominated for a Grammy seven times, and if she remains as consistent in her songwriting as she claims she is around a poker table, it will not be long before more follow.
Author: Lisa Gansky from New York, NY, USA.