American songwriter Carter Tanton announces his album Jettison the Valley, which is due for release on Western Vinyl on 4 March. Written whilst living in England for a short time, the album blends country music with British folk influences. The album opens with an ode to the desert skies of California's Joshua Tree National Park with "Twentynine Palms", featuring Sharon Van Etten.
"Carter Tanton has spent a lot of time wandering. First known as frontman of now-defunct rockers Tulsa, the musician’s musician has since lent his songwriting, producing, and guitar-playing talents to Lower Dens, Marissa Nadler, and the War On Drugs. After releasing his first solo effort Birds & Rain in 2005, he followed up with the homegrown Freeclouds in 2012, with folk-rock arrangements showcasing his diverse skills. Tanton travels even farther with “Twenty-Nine Palms,” the lead single of his debut LP Jettison the Valley (set to be released March 4 via Western Vinyl). Featuring lilting back-up vocals from Sharon Van Etten, the pedal steel-laden track perfectly encapsulates Valley’s easygoing essence." - Megan Bradley, Spin
By the time he was 15, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Carter Tanton was already playing bar shows in his hometown of Baltimore. Two years later, he caught the attention of Gary E. Smith, best known for discovering and producing The Pixies. After working together for a year, they parted ways, but Tanton never slowed down. In the mid-2000's he released a couple of EPs with his band Tulsa, prompting Rolling Stone's David Fricke to claim "…his indie-seraphim voice is not of this world…", and after a particularly impressive live set KEXP's John Richards said "…he's one of the best singer-songwriters in the country today." Beyond his critical acclaim, Tanton's early work was cited as an inspiration by his old friend Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs. As Granduciel recalled in an interview with Pitchfork, "He was sleeping in someone's basement, playing every instrument, going through this breakup,...That was the first time I saw someone make music obsessively. I’d never seen anyone living inside of something, to that level."
Over the years, Tanton has toured and recorded with numerous artists including Marissa Nadler, Strand of Oaks, Lower Dens, and The War on Drugs. In 2012, he assembled Freeclouds, his first collection of songs for Western Vinyl. A couple of years later, Tanton moved to England where he wrote all of the songs on his new album Jettison the Valley. The change of environment, and his rediscovery of early British influences including Richard Thompson, Nick Drake and John Cale sparked a powerful shift in perspective, which led him to write his most cohesive and personal work to date. Other than the pedal steel featured on two songs, Tanton engineers and plays every instrument on the album. His old friend and collaborator Marisa Nadler contributes lead vocals to "Jettison the Valley", and Sharon Van Etten sings on "Twentynine Palms" and "Through the Garden Gates".
More about Jettison the Valley in his own words:
"Jettison the Valley began in a little dot of a town outside Bristol called Hambrook in the Fall of 2013. I had just moved to England with my girlfriend where we lived in a caravan on her family's plot of land with the M5 motorway on one side, and a horse farm on the other. To get away from the incessant low rumbling of cars, I often walked along the area's ancient public footpaths that carve strange ways through the countryside. On those walks, my previous 30 years in America billowed and collapsed in front of me. As I stood there in the blowback, the constant push of time seemed to finally relent, and I found enough distance from it to see my past in clear broad strokes. After a few months we moved to Oxford and lived in a little attic apartment up on a hill. I spent most days watching the weather roll through the valley and writing these songs about my relationship ending. Eventually, I felt I had to come back to the states to record them. I consider this my first solo record. The other two releases I've put out under my own name since 2005 were simply collections of scattered recordings, mixtapes essentially. Jettison was written in one long sitting, each song feeding the next."