We recently had a chance to sit down with pop singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton to chat with her about her new CD, Blue Pool, her writing process, streaming services, and more. So, sit back and get to know Vanessa a little better!
Indie Minded: Let’s get right to it – what inspired you to go in a more minimalistic direction with this new release?
Vanessa Carlton: When it came to the approach to this album it was all about reduction and letting things breath for what they are. Steve Osborne and I didn’t actually set out to be minimalist we were just really careful about our arrangements. We wanted to go down the path where “Hear The Bells” left off (that’s a song from Rabbits On The Run).
IM: Considering Stevie Nicks was involved when Heroes & Thieves came out – was there anyone else actively involved with your upcoming music / projects or any direct inspiration (aside from Glass)?
VC: I worked with Patrick Hallahan when I was building the approach to the album. I cut a couple songs with him and John McCauley in Louisville at this studio call La La Land. That was the beginning. We didn’t use those demos on the album but they helped me clear a vision for what I wanted to do with Steve in England. I can’t go to the UK with a cloudy head. It’s cloudy enough there!
IM: Do you have a typical process between albums? All of your albums have had a different feel / sound, does that just develop over time or is it a conscious effort to really switch things up?
VC: Starting with the demo chapter of Rabbits On The Run which commenced in 2009 I think…I’ve been building toward something. I don’t know what it is yet.
IM: How have your longtime fans reacted to your newest EP, Blue Pool (which released on July 24th)?
VC: I think they dig it. They are getting lots of swirly piano and some “girl and a piano” stuff. The girl and a piano thing isn’t prominent on this album at all. That’s on purpose. But I recorded every song as a piano vocal for those that love that kind of thing. You gotta give your die hards some sick B sides ya know?;)
IM: Blue Pool consists of four tracks that will also appear on your upcoming CD, Liberman, which drops in October. The CD was named after an oil painting that your grandfather painted. He was originally named Liberman. This may be a very personal question, but what made you decide to honor your grandfather by naming your upcoming CD after him?
VC: I honestly don’t know. . .I guess it’s about honoring his influence on me through his paintings. I liked the idea of going back to a real family name too.
IM: You left New York City and moved to Nashville, how has that change been? Do you feel more “at home” in Nashville? Do you feel as though this is the right place for you to be to create your music?
VC: The change has been so fantastic. I am home for sure. I do feel a vibrancy here that even NYC doesn’t have.
IM: Congratulations on your baby girl, how has motherhood been?
VC: I love it.
IM: What can we expect from you for the remainder of 2015? Are there any plans for a tour in the near future?
VC: We will announce dates soon. I’m touring for fall and winter.
IM: How does your writing process go? Do you find that you mostly write the music first or do the lyrics come to you before the music?
VC: I usually start with the music.
IM: How important do you think that social media is in the music business? Do you use it to communicate with your fans?
VC: I think it’s cool. But sometimes I fly off the handle about politics on my twitter. If i didn’t have twitter I’d be a bit more mysterious which is a better look in my opinion.
IM: What are your feelings on streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music?
VC: I don’t get why they don’t want to compensate the artists better. It’s nice that Apple seems pliable but their instinct is not to pay. I don’t know what the answer is but it sucks right now.
IM: What are you listening to these days? Who are your top three musicians or bands right now?
VC: I listen to Neil Young, Kurt Vile and I dance to the new Jamie XX album.
IM: Do you have a message for your fans that we can relay for you?
VC: Sure tell them I appreciate them and their devotion over the years and I hope they dig the album.
IM: Thank you so much for taking time out to talk with us today!
VC: Anytime! x