With the widespread concern of gender inequality on today’s country radio, Brandy Clark chooses to see the glass as half full.
“Women can paint with a few more colors in this business,” she tells Rolling Stone. “A guy could never sing a song like ‘Stripes.’ A guy could never even joke about killing his wife! Miranda [Lambert] can sing about getting pissed off and blowing things up, but a guy could never do that.”
Thus, she’s the one singing “Stripes,” while buddies Shane McAnally and Matt Jenkins are happy to just join her on its writing credits. The song tells the humorous tale of a woman who wants to kill her cheating husband but refrains, due to an even more overwhelming desire to stay fashionable — which is, of course, impossible behind bars. It was written while the co-writers were doing a little law-breaking of their own.
“We jumped over a locked fence at someone’s vacation home and sat on this deck overlooking the water,” Clark reminisces. “We were nervous about getting caught, but I said, ‘Look, the worst thing that could happen is that we’d be wearing orange jumpsuits.’ Then Shane says, ‘I’ve always wanted to write a song called ‘Orange’ about a woman who wants to kill her husband for cheating on her, but she doesn’t look good in orange. But nothing rhymes with orange!’ So I said, ‘Yeah, but everything rhymes with stripes!'”
Clark performed “Stripes” and the similarly vengeful “Crazy Women” — a song also cut by LeAnn Rimes — on Monday’s Late Night With Seth Meyers. (Watch the “Stripes” performance above and “Crazy Women” below.) The appearance followed a Good Morning America visit, as the Washington native makes the pre-Grammy media rounds. She is the only country act in the awards show’s all-genre categories, scoring a nod for Best New Artist alongside Sam Smith, Haim, Iggy Azalea and Bastille. Her critically-acclaimed 12 Stories is also up for Best Country Album. CBS will broadcast the 57th annual Grammy Awards on February 8th, live from Los Angeles.