Brandi Carlile releases new video for 'The Joke

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On the same day of the release of her new album, By The Way, I Forgive You, Brandi Carlile has released a new video for the album's lead single, "The Joke."

Brandi Carlile has released the music video for "The Joke," the powerhouse lead single from her new album By the Way, I Forgive You. The emotional video, shot in black and white by Danny Clinch, features close-up portraits of a rotating cast of women, men and children singing (and dancing) along to Carlile's inspirational power ballad.

The Joke' pushed me," Carlile recently told Rolling Stone. "It pushed my pride, it pushed me vocally, and it expanded my mind."

Carlile composed the song near the end of recording sessions for her latest album only after being encouraged by producer Dave Cobb, who wanted the singer to write a song that contained a vocal performance as memorable as her 2007 breakout hit "The Story."

"Dave kept suggesting that we should write a new song which was, quite frankly, getting irritating," she says.

But on a day off from recording, Carlile went into the studio and got to work. "I had just met this little boy who was struggling in school, and a bunch of things were swimming around in my mind," she says of the song's inspiration. "There was a lump in my throat three times a day about this shit."

By the Way, I Forgive You is out now and Carlile will launch an extensive North American tour on March 3rd.


Everyone you see in this video is a real person with a very real story," Carlile posted on Instagram in announcing the video. "The ballerina is Michaela DePrince, her story is particularly incredible to me."

The approach to the video echoes something Carlile had said in her recent interview with The Current's Jim McGuinn. "Is it important for you," McGuinn asked, "to have a song that speaks to those that might not feel spoken to?"

"Yeah, absolutely," Carlile replied. "That interests me as a person and as a seeker in general. And I think I'm just lucky to be a musician and to be a songwriter, that I have an outlet for that feeling of being able to lead an anthem or have an anthem that other people can use as a tool in their daily lives, just to remind us all that we do know how it ends. We know where this is going. We know that love's already conquered the world. And we're just waiting for that outcome."

The new video for "The Joke" was directed by acclaimed photographer and videographer Danny Clinch, who is well-known for his thoughtfully composed images of people in the music industry.

In November 2017, Carlile had released an earlier video for "The Joke." Recorded in RCA Studio A in Nashville and directed by Wes Teshome, the previous video captured the studio performance of "The Joke" as a teaser of the then-forthcoming By The Way, I Forgive You, which is now available on Low Country Sound / Elektra Records.

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