Stripes

Album: 12 Stories (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • Already a successful songwriter with credits for #1 hits by The Band Perry ("Better Dig Two") and Miranda Lambert ("Mama's Broken Heart"), Brandy Clark released her first solo album, 12 Stories on October 22, 2013. This is her first single from the collection.
  • This tells a dark but humorous tale of a woman who decides not to murder her cheating lover as prison uniforms aren't flattering. Clark told Billboard magazine: "That song seems to push a lot of buttons with a lot of people, women in particular. It's kind of a fantasy – that thought of 'I just caught you cheating on me. I'd shoot you right now, but I'm too vain. I don't look good in orange, and I hate stripes. I can deal with prison, but I can't deal with that part of it.' It's probably the most fun song on the record."
  • The song features the rather cool lyric: "There's no crime of passion worth a crime of fashion." Clark smiled to Billboard: "I wish I could say that was my line when we were writing it. I wrote that with Matt Jenkins and Shane McAnally. Shane and I both remember when Matt said that, and how obvious that is, but none of us had thought it. He just says it, and we were like 'Yeah, that's it.'"
  • The song's music video was directed by Becky Fluke (Little Big Town, Pistol Annies). HLN legal commentator Nancy Grace plays a cameo role.
  • Clark penned this with Matt Jenkins and Shane McAnally during a writing retreat. "It was too loud, so we decided to go down the road and find a park or whatever to write at," she recalled to Spin magazine. "But instead, we stopped at this house where no one was. The fence was locked, so we jumped over it. We're sitting out on these people's deck, completely trespassing, writing a song, and Matt and I were both very nervous that they were gonna come home: Every time a car would drive by, he would jump up and look around the corner. It became a little bit distracting, and at some point, he [jumped up again], and I said, 'Oh, c'mon Matt, the worst that could happen is we'll be wearing orange jumpsuits.' And Shane said, 'I've always wanted to write a song called 'Orange,' about a woman who wants to shoot her husband, but she doesn't like the color orange. But nothing rhymes with it.' And I said, 'Yeah, but everything rhymes with stripes.' And we were just off."
  • 12 Stories was named the best album of 2013 in any genre by New York Magazine's Jody Rosen, New York Post's Michaelangelo Matos, NPR's Ann Powers, Slate, and Boston Globe's Sarah Rodman.

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