Brandi Shearer (The Interview)

I remember the first time I heard Brandi Shearer’s voice. I remember it well.

It was courtesy of EW’s Music Mix blog, and they were featuring Shearer’s song “Losers and Freaks.” I remember thinking to myself that this just wasn’t another voice. Shearer has that something, that intoxicating quality that immediately makes your forget your biggest priority at work or biggest worry at home. In short, Shearer’s voice is a mystery I never want to figure out – I just want it to always live casually in the back of my mind.

Born in Oregon, Shearer calls San Francisco her home these days. I’m sure I could spend plenty of hours driving on a California highway or two, listening to her words and voice while I pretended that I didn’t live in Missouri. That’ll probably never happen, but I can still picture Shearer in my mind; it sort of helps that she’s undeniably gorgeous and sexy, you know (there, I called you sexy, Brandi).

I recently had the chance to catch up with Brandi about her last release, Love Don’t Make You Juliet, and life on the road. Enjoy.

1. Tell us a little bit about the Record Store Day tour you were on last year. Were there any moments that stood out for you?

The RSD tour was a really great experience. I picked up SUCH an awesome Billy Preston LP in perfect condition from M-Theory in San Diego . . . you can see now why maybe a record store tour is not such a great idea for me. I end up spending money at every show.

2. Your newest album, Love Don’t Make You Juliet, includes my favorite song of yours, “I Just Want You to Love Me.” Tell us a little bit about that song and what it means to you.

Well, obviously, I profoundly enjoy the creepy side of romance (but am completely well adjusted in real life!) and I loved writing in that structure, with simile. And I am completely utterly satisfied as a writer to have snuck both the words “sultan” and “rifled” into a pop song.

3. Your vocals often get described as “smooth” and “sultry.” Your music, “jazzy” and “seductive.” In your opinion, what does all that mean?

People need signposts when describing something abstract, like a voice or a style of music. So I take it as it comes. And . . . I don’t mind if people say sexy. Because I’m also fabulous in the maths and sciences!

4. What was the last great concert you went to as a fan, and how did it inspire you?

I’m SO glad you asked, because I went to the L.A. Philharmonic last Friday (CASUAL Friday – the orchestra was in jeans!) and Blomstedt was guest conducting. He’s about 300 years old now, and chose Beethoven’s 7th – a totally weird piece of work. Not the kind of symphony that makes instant sense. Just watching this man pull and shape that brilliant, strange music . . . it was divine. And it was infinitely better because he DOES have a life of experience to draw from. It reminded me that, in an industry that venerates youth and beauty, there is still depth in your art to be discovered as you get older. It was reassuring to me. And they have COCKTAILS on Casual Friday, so that was rad.

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