Carter Tanton has co-written with Marissa Nadler, recorded albums for George Lewis Jr. (Twin Shadow), and plays as a member of Lower Dens, yet none of those projects capture Tanton’s countrified angst like his personal work. Carter Tanton recorded his first EP under the moniker Tulsa, but has since switched to his given name, which somehow rings with even more wistful Americana than his previous nom de guerre. “Murderous Joy,” the first single from the upcoming Freeclouds, embodies a daguerreotype contrast between emotions that makes Tanton's music so compelling. Like singer-songwriter, Cass McCombs, Carter Tanton feels like part of a tradition bigger than himself, capturing a dusty-dusky past that lingers in small towns and empty bars. There’s another track on Freeclouds whose title, “Gauze of Song," perfectly describes what Carter Tanton is all about: Quiet pain wrapped in bittersweet melody.
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