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‘SNL’: Watch Brandi Carlile’s Gale-Force Debut

For her first-ever performance on Saturday Night Live, country singer Brandi Carlile launched right into her defiant heartland jam, “Broken Horses,” wearing a gleaming Elvis-inspired gold lamé suit. But for all the glam, the energy of the music was straight barroom rock and roll. Carlile wielded her burnished guitar like she was steering a colt, her streaky brown hair hanging loosely around her face.

Carlile returned to the stage to perform her swelling country-rock drama, “Right on Time,” the lead single from her stunning new album, In These Silent Days. This time, Carlile wore a glittering black-and-white suit, appearing alone on a darkened stage, playing the opening verse on piano. The crowd gasped as she turned to the camera and sang the end of the verse in chilling a cappella. Then, Carlile picked up her guitar and rejoined the rest of her band at the front of the stage, bringing the song about two embattled lovers to its soul-melting crescendo.

In These Silent Days is Carlile’s seventh album and the highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2018 album, By the Way, I Forgive You, which was produced by David Cobb and Shooter Jennings, and earned a bevy of Grammy nods, including Song of The Year, for its single “The Joke.” Carlile went on to co-found the country music supergroup, the Highwomen, with Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby. Her first memoir, Broken Horses, was released last spring.

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