Vanessa Carlton To Release New Album June 21st
Woohoo! Two bits of Vanessa Carlton news to report. Firstly...Carlton has a new record label. Back in January I was speculating whether or not Carlton was still signed to Irv Gotti's The Inc. record label. Turns out she's not. While signed with The Inc, Carlton released one album...her third, Heroes & Thieves. The album was Carlton's least successful release, peaking at #44 on the Billboard 200 chart while the album's first single, "Hands On Me" only managed to reach #30 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Not awful but definitely not stellar.
So, where is Carlton's home now? Back in early March it was announced that she's joined forces with Razor & Tie Records. Home to an eclectic mix of artists (Angelique Kidjo, Dar Williams, Foreigner, Suzanne Vega, Neil Sedaka and Richard Ashcroft) at first glance, Razor & Tie seems like a pretty good fit. Many of the artists on the Razor & Tie roster are legendary. I highly doubt that they would allow a label to dictate their musical direction, songwriting, image, etc. and that's always been something important to Carlton - staying true to herself. I guess we'll have to see how this goes but all signs are pointing to it being a match made in heaven.
On June 21st, Carlton will release her fourth studio album, Rabbits On The Run. The album was produced by Steve Osborne (U2, B-52's, KT Tunstall) and recorded in the UK at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. While we haven't heard anything from the new album just yet, it sounds like it's QUALITY, at least according to Beka Tischker, Vice President of A&R and Music Publishing over at Razor & Tie. According to Tischker,
"Vanessa's latest album harkens back to the art of making records that take you on a journey, it's refreshing and something you don't hear a lot of today. The music showcases her depth as a composer, sensitivity as a lyricist, and her skills as a pianist. At Razor & Tie we pride ourselves with being a home that nurtures artists to grow and explore so that they can reach their full potential."The 10-track album is filled with "gorgeous, haunting melodies and finely-crafted stories," - in other words - just what she does best. In addition to working with the phenomenal Osbourne, Carlton collaborated with Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket), Ari Ingber (The Upwelling) - both of whom play on Rabbits On The Run. While I can't pinpoint inspirations for past albums, Carlton has turned to literature this time around, taking from Richard Adams' Watership Down and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. The press release calls this crop of Carlton songs "the most honest and uncompromised" material recorded to date, so I'm pretty excited. So far we have descriptions of 3 tracks, including the lush "Carousel," which has been announced as single #1. The album will also feature "Dear California," described as a "70's-sun-drenched" number AND the bold "I Don't Want To Be A Bride."
What does Carlton have to say about the album? Well, for one thing, it's been a journey. "It took me thirteen years to return to the vibe of my first cassette demo and ten years to muster the courage to go it alone and create something that is pure Arts and Crafts." The more I read about this album, the more I want to hear it! To me, it's not Carlton's voice that draws me in, rather, it's her artistry, introspective songwriting style and overall humble attitude. She seems genuinely grateful to have her career and I have to say, I'm grateful to all of those who've given her a chance. I can't imagine how many have called her a (and continue to do so) "one hit wonder" and yet she keeps plugging along. Three Grammy nominations, three studio albums, platinum sales and some modest hit singles all speak to her talent and ability to speak to audiences so I think all of the haters need to stop hating. Watch this space for more Vanessa Carlton news. Hopefully we'll get some album artwork and maybe even a single snippet soon. Fingers crossed!