This Carter Tanton article was written by Hannah Vettese. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
Carter Tanton reveals the follow up to 2011’s ‘Freeclouds’ with his slice of hazy, ambient folk rock on ‘Jettison the Valley’. Tanton has spent the last few years supporting the likes of The War on Drugs and Ryan Adams, and the influence of both artists can be heard in his own music. Pairing languid, delicate vocals with perfectly constructed soundscapes, Tanton successfully creates a beautifully listenable body of work.
It is an album that almost demands to be played on road-trips with scenic back drops, particularly the final track ‘Diamonds In The Mine’, all lightly brushed cymbals, wheezy harmonicas and gentle americana guitar riffs that evoke daydreams of travelling and adventures .
Where ‘Jettison the Valley’ really comes into it’s own though, is on the tracks that feature other artists, those being Marisa Nadler and Sharon van Etten. It is Etten who lends her ethereal vocals to the lead single ‘Twenty Nine Palms’, (interestingly, not a cover of the Robert Plant song with the same name, though it would not be at all out of place on Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’s album ‘Raising Sand’) and to ‘Through The Garden Gates’. Marisa Nadler also appears on the album, on the title track ‘Jettison the Valley’ and both women are perfect vocal choices – delicate and sweet additions that enhance both Tanton’s own voice and his multi-layered instrumentals.
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The songs blend into each other with gentle ease, which makes ‘Jettison the Valley’ perfect to listen to straight through. However, this may also prove to be its downfall – as there aren’t any obvious stand out tracks that catch your attention. ‘Twenty Nine Palms’ is a strong lead single, but it would take a good amount of close listening to find other songs that would stand alone quite as well.
It may not be enough to propel Carter Tanton further than cult status but as a conceptual piece, ‘Jettison the Valley’ makes for fairly dreamy listening, and it is a clear labour of love and craftsmanship that is worthy of some serious listening time.
‘Jettison The Valley’ is out now via Western Vinyl.