Vanessa Carlton enters a new artistic depth in her new album


by Liliana Cervantes, Staff Writer

Singer and songwriter Vanessa Carlton drifts listeners into a dream with the soft melodies present in her newest album, “Liberman,” released in October 2015. One of her next stops on her current North American tour is at the Casbah in downtown San Diego on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Carlton made a name for herself after the success of her 2002 pop hit single “A Thousand Miles,” and the single is still a pop sensation to date. While she has not had another single that has achieved the same level of popularity, her new album offers a refreshing sound that enters new depths for the evolved artist.

“We wanted to do something that was kind of like eerie but soothing,” Carlton said. “I think sonically I really honed in on this record more than any other previous record.”

Carlton said “Liberman” achieves fluidity between piano and guitar. The album is named after her grandfather, whose name also translates to “honorable man” and “my beloved.”

The record was released by independent record label Dine Alone Records, which also currently has signed artists such as Marilyn Manson, The Lumineers and Jimmy Eat World. Prior to signing with anyone, though, Carlton made a bold decision to send her tracks, produced by her and her team, to labels without her name enclosed.

“The approach was we send it without any name on it so that people would just not see my name and prejudge it and just listen to the record,” she said. “It made the most sense for us.”

Her latest music masters a minimalistic sound that’s both somber and intriguing. San Diego fans, new and old, who will attend her show Sunday night can expect to be enchanted by some of her newest songs.

One of Carlton’s more whimsical tracks, “Willows,” features a lullaby-like piano melody alongside her dreamy lyrics.

“Sow the earth, a blanket of bounty, in the distance, a hearse,” she sings. “The devil drives empty in a baby’s eyes. The ritual purifies every design.”

Carlton said she and her band have been able to re-create a lot of the power on record in the live setting.

“It’s a very multilayered sound,” she said. “We kind of created this collage of sound. Even though there are two people on stage, it sounds like there are five. It’s really important because it’s not a duo album at all, and there are a lot of important sounds that I need in the live settings to make the sound work.”

Carlton said she’s proud of the new album.

“I finished it a year before it was released so I had plenty of time to listen to it and sit on it, and there was very little that I wanted to change even after sitting on it for so long,” she said.

Tour dates are available on her website. You can purchase “Liberman” via iTunes.