Friday, March 11, 2016

Listen: Carter Tanton - "Through the Garden Gates" ft Sharon Van Etten

photo by Jeff Maksym
After being inspired to try his hand at electronic pop through his time with Lower Dens culminated in 2013's They're Flowers under the Luxury Liners moniker, Carter Tanton is returning both to releasing music under his own name and to releasing it in the more singer/songwriter tradition of his previous album Freeclouds. On Jettison in the Valley, Tanton's back to his old stomping grounds and he makes the most of it by featuring an old collaborator in Marissa Nadler and new one in Sharon Van Etten. Although Nadler takes a much more prominent role on the album than Van Etten featuring on lead vocals for the title track, Van Etten settles for much less subdued features trading bars with Tanton on "Twentynine Palms" and backing vocals on "Through the Garden Gates".

The longest track on the album, second only to "Jettison in the Valley", "Through the Garden Gates" finds Tanton doing a lot with a limited focus. Inspired by his time in England and long walks that inspired introspection, "Through the Garden Gates" captures that feeling of expanse but funnels in into looking back at the end of a relationship and taking a sort mental and emotional inventory. As often as Tanton lets himself indulge in fantastical what-if's, he's quick to course correct: "Ask the truth about a million times, still fucked up when we get back".

On "Through the Garden Gates", Tanton offers up a surprisingly intimate portrait than in his previous works. Part of that is through his lyrics which both pull you in and keep you at a reasonably safe distance but also in his vocals which are fraught with wistfulness.

Carter Tanton's Jettison in the Valley is out now on Western Vinyl. You can order the record here.

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