NEW YORK (Billboard) - Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile’s self-titled 2005 Columbia debut had a relatively quiet rollout. Released on the label’s Red Ink imprint, the album, which has sold 74,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, never made it onto the charts.
Two years later, Carlile’s follow-up disc, “The Story,” is a completely different, well, story. Released April 3, the album opened at No. 76 on the Billboard 200 and made an impressive jump to No. 41 in its second week.
Three songs from “Brandi Carlile” were licensed to ABC’s hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” creating a “great sampler” for new fans of the pop/rock/alt-country/folk artist, according to Sony BMG vice president of marketing Greg Linn.
“They came to us with this wonderful opportunity to take the video for the first single (the album’s title track) and intercut it with footage from the first three seasons of the show,” Linn said. “The images worked phenomenally well together.”
The “Grey‘s” montage aired April 12 and was made available as a free download on iTunes the next day. “It was amazing to have that happen when it did,” Linn said. “To have album sales jump in the second week is such a rarity in these market conditions.”
Carlile also got a boost when the first single was made the Download of the Week March 13 on iTunes. The cut debuted at No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has found support on college, triple-A and, most recently, adult top 40 stations.
Carlile will keep up her heavy touring schedule through spring and much of summer, and a three-month fall headlining tour is in the planning stages.
“This is the best tour I’ve ever been on,” she said. “I had heard so many major label horror stories, but so far it’s been a nonissue for me. They haven’t been forceful in any way. They’ve just let me do my thing the way I want to do it.”