One of the most biting tracks on Brandy Clark’s upcoming album Big Day in a Small Town is the thinking-woman’s revenge song “Daughter.” With clever lyrics about daddy’s little girl growing up to make daddy worry and harmonies by Kacey Musgraves (it’s not a proper duet), the song, written by Clark with frequent collaborators Jessie Jo Dillon and Jeremy Spillman, was inspired by watching a guy talk shit about some women in a Nashville bar.
“He was making fun of these girls and it really made Jessie mad and offended, and she said, ‘I hope this and that happens to him,'” Clark tells Rolling Stone Country. “And I just said, ‘I hope he has a daughter.’ Because that’s where his karma will come back for all that — through his little girl.”
When Clark brought the song to Jay Joyce, who produced Big Day in a Small Town, he suggested enlisting someone to sing harmonies.
“Jay said, ‘I feel like we need a special female vocal on this,’ and we threw around some names. When I said Kacey, he said that’s the one. So I asked her and she had one random day in town, and came in and did it. She was perfect for it,” says Clark, who co-wrote the 2013 Miranda Lambert hit “Mama’s Broken Heart” with Musgraves. “I have never written a song with her that I didn’t really, really like.”
Big Day in a Small Town will be released on June 10th, a few weeks after Clark’s originally targeted date of April 1st. The singer-songwriter, who wowed critics and audiences alike with her 2013 debut 12 Stories, chalks up the delay to simple preparation. Although Clark signed her major-label record deal with Warner Bros. in Burbank, California, Warner Music Nashville is helping release the album and its first single, “Girl Next Door,” to country radio.
“Warner Nashville wanted eight more weeks to set it up. I’m sure they would have liked more than that, but it was a compromise,” says Clark, who offers that the delay actually works in her favor. She’s been bolstered by the response the album has received during her tour of radio stations and the slow shift by country toward deeper material.
“I sang my last vocal on [the album] in late July, so it’s been done. . . And I wanted it all out sooner,” she says. “But I’m really glad to be taking this to radio after Chris Stapleton. I do think that blew the doors open and made people sit up and take notice. I think they’re craving things like Chris Stapleton and Brothers Osborne.”
With the track list and release date to Big Day already revealed, Clark is sitting tight on the album’s cover. All she’ll say is that, like on 12 Stories, her face doesn’t grace it.
“I want my albums to all look like a piece of art. . . and I love albums that don’t have a mug of the artist,” she says. “In the end, what’s on there blew my mind.”
Clark is currently on CMT’s Next Women of Country Tour with Jennifer Nettles.