Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Blue Pool EP | Vanessa Carlton

Much of the world has forgotten about singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, who momentarily took over the world with the singles "A Thousand Miles" and "Ordinary Day" from her debut Be Not Nobody. "A Thousand Miles" can still be heard on the radio regularly, but for whatever odd reason, not a lot of people decided to stick with her. However, I am proud to say that I have not stopped paying attention to her in the past thirteen years. I have always been in love with her sophomore effort, Harmonium, and enjoyed some songs from Heroes and Thieves and Rabbits on the Run. Recently she has released the Blue Pool EP, a precoursor to her full-length album Liberman, which is scheduled for release on October 23.

Between Carlton's initial sound on Be Not Nobody and the popularity of other female singer-songwriters in the early 2000s, she fit in the mainstream music scene pretty well. Now, she fits into the indie scene, and frankly, I love it. Her music has held onto its reliance on piano and its peacefulness, but it has certainly evolved over the past thirteen years, and in my opinion, she's shown improvement.

The Blue Pool EP starts off with "Take it Easy," which begins with subtle synths before acoustic guitars and Carlton's light voice start to take their soothing toll on listeners. It's lovely and peaceful, but overall leaves the least amount of an impression on me. "Blue Pool," on the other hand, is without a doubt one of the best singles released this year. It's a perfect combination of dark and light, of loneliness and adventure, of cold and warm, and of newness and nostalgia. I often sing along to the lyrics to the chorus since they're so pretty: "'Cause the garden walls grow quick / Before you know you're outside of it / And the ivy's coming in / It's so beautiful if you can find it." The outro will leave listeners in a daze, for that final piano section is so gorgeous and dreamy. Carlton achieved perfection with this song, and I don't think I've loved a song by her so much since Harmonium.

The last two tracks on the EP are live living room sessions of brand new songs, "Operator" and "Nothing Where Something Used to Be." "Operator" immediately became a favorite alongside "Blue Pool." All it consists of is Carlton and her piano (in the living room), and that's all it needs. She sounds exactly the same as she does in her studio recordings, and sometimes when I listen to these living room sessions I forget they're live. The piano part is wonderful from start to finish, and lyrically, Carlton considers running away with someone: "Leave your house for a home." "Nothing Where Something Used to Be" is also quite beautiful, and there's something cozy about it that makes me think of winter.

Carlton's Blue Pool EP is a very tantalizing teaser for what's to come - overall I enjoy this direction more so than her work on Heroes and Thieves and Rabbits on the Run, and I hope I can say this again in October when we get Liberman. She's an artist that stays true to herself as she naturally evolves, and this mini release has some of her best pieces yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment