The empowering track highlights the "power of ancestral strength and the essential nature of community." Not only do the two hitmakers intertwine their critically acclaimed vocals to drive the essential message, but they deliver a refreshing sound that the country community has been longing for.
"We are not alone | We are not what we have lost | We are more than the sum of our scars | We are the dust of the stars, the bones of the Earth, the breath of the void, the expanse of our imaginations, the arc of art, the love in our hearts," they effortlessly sing. "We lift each other up | We are the "beloved community" every time we choose to be. Our circle is battered and bloody but still, whole. None above, none below – our one human family – equal under the listening sky."
Russell was the mastermind behind the weighted lyrics and also served as the producer. "You're Not Alone" appeared initially on Our Native Daughters' 2019 debut album, a group that features Russell and other notable musicians. Although Carlile's authenticity and soulful flair beautifully elevated the song, the exquisite string arrangement by the Sista Strings – Monique Ross, Chauntee Ross, and Larissa Maestro brought the melody to new heights.
The vocalist turned to video producer Mark Nesbitt to bring the captivating song to life. While Russell had creative control to take her vision in a specific direction, she decided to shoot at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado with Carlile. Russell joined the songstress out on tour over the summer for select dates.
Russell said that the "You're Not Alone" music video took two long days to film, but the experience was memorable.
"We filmed the video over two magical days opening for my beloved Queen Unicorn of Exponential Goodness, Brandi Carlile, at Red Rocks— possibly the most beautiful venue on Earth. My eight-year-old daughter Ida and her best friend Vai skipped school to join us," she exclusively told CMT. "My favorite memory was the impromptu formation of the "Love Choir" - Ida, Vai - Brandi and her brilliant wife Catherine's girls —Evangeline and Elijah— the Hanseroth twin's kids, Brandi's brother Jay's kids (Small Town Strings), Monique Ross of Sista String's daughter Braelyn, and my beloved friends Awna Teixeira, Niki Frazier and Eliza Eaton hopping on stage with us and leading the audience in a rousing "We have love!" chorus sing along. 11 thousand people beaming that back at us with genuine emotion - I will never, ever forget it," she added.
Between the breathtaking landscape and the way music united strangers during the two-night-only show in the Rocky Mountains, Russell strongly believes the video perfectly conveyed the narrative.
"It embodies the very essence of the song. We are never alone. It was such a communal, joyful, affirming experience to sing "You're Not Alone" with Brandi and her band and my band and 11 thousand of our new best friends at Red Rocks," explained Russell. "Rett Rogers captured the love-in so empathetically. When I watch the video, I'm transported right back into the depth of the emotional connection we experienced in Brandi's orbit over those two magical shows.."
The vocalist confirmed that she can't watch the music video without shedding tears.
"I wept! I still can't get through it without crying," she declared. "Overwhelmed by gratitude and astonishment is what I feel about the community that has embraced me and my music and this song."
Russell told CMT how grateful she was to work alongside Carlile and how she single-handedly changed her life.
"Every surreal, uplifting, life-changing, ceiling-shattering, accolade, award, nomination, record deal, book deal, publishing deal that has happened for me in the last 16 months since the release of 'Outside Child' can be traced directly back to Brandi Carlile," said Russell. "Because of Brandi - she lifted me and my family out of poverty during the lockdown of the pandemic with her care. She has done that same kind of active championing for so many others, most recently Celisse and Sista Strings. The higher her star rises, the more of us she brings right along with her. I'd need a whole book to begin to scratch the surface above the fathomless depths of Brandi's community building," she concluded.