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Brandi Carlile Covers ‘Mad World’: Watch

Brandi Carlile
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Brandi Carlile has posted an emotive cover of Tears For Fears’ “Mad World” that was captured at her Washington State home. The song was included as part of Carlile’s full-album livestream re-imagining of 2009’s Give Up the Ghost on September 13th.

Seated at a keyboard and flanked by a series of guitars and a poster documenting her Joni Mitchell tribute show, Carlile taps out the melancholy piano intro from the song. The slowed-down performance gains some extra weight from Carlile’s tremulous voice, sliding up into glass-like high notes in the choruses before she explodes into powerful, sorrowful cries for the second verse.

Originally recorded by Tears For Fears for the 1983 album The Hurting, “Mad World” has been covered numerous times in the years since. Notably, Gary Jules’ recording of it became the signature tune from 2001’s Donnie Darko, and Adam Lambert revived it as a finalist on American Idol in 2009.

Like most artists, Carlile has been staying close to home with her family during quarantine. On September 17th, Carlile and Yola will participate in a conversation about advocacy and representation in roots music as part of the Americana Music Association’s Thriving Roots virtual conference, taking place September 16th through 18th.

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