Carter Tanton finished up his solo tour in Chicago at Lincoln Hall as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival -- but before heading home to Baltimore, he stopped off at saki for a brief but engrossing Epitonic saki Session.
Carter was a driving force behind the now-defunct (but once-promising) Boston-based indie rock band Tulsa. You can download their 2007 EP I Was Submerged for free at their Bandcamp, and if you enjoy this session, we highly recommend you check it out! Since Tulsa’s premature demise, Carter has worked with Twin Shadow, Marissa Nadler, and Lower Dens -- as a producer for the former and producer/contributing member with the latter two. He is now a full-time member of Lower Dens.
On Freeclouds, his debut solo LP for Western Vinyl, Carter proves a gifted singer and songwriter, but it's also clear why he’s become something of a sought-after producer in the indie world. Most of Freeclouds would come across as a simple singer/songwriter affair if it weren’t for Carter’s deft touch. It lends the album an ethereal bent, taking these well-crafted folk-pop songs from shoegaze ruminations to what I can best describe as futuristic country (with a Sparklehorse cover thrown in for good measure).
Though Freeclouds is only a few months old, Carter surprised us with a batch of new songs, including a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s "Lungs," which he described (and I’m paraphrasing here) as one of his "favorite songs of all time." The man’s got taste. In this intimate live setting, Carter took time to stretch out songs like the bright and soulful opener "Caribbean Sunset" and "Mother Tongue," which could almost qualify as a dark R&B number until it takes a left turn off into some heavily effects-laden guitar jams.
Freeclouds was one of the best releases of 2011, but if this Epitonic saki Session is any indication, we can all expect to hear a lot more from Carter Tanton in the future. Whether it’s as a member of Lower Dens, a producer, or a solo performer, Carter can do it all. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!