Singer, songwriter, keyboardist Vanessa Carlton brings her new stark tunes from her album Liberman to the Casbah on Sunday, January 24. She took questions over email on working with producer Steve Osborne (New Order, U2), new songwriting directions, and her baby girl one year and 11 days old the day of the show.
Every time I think the new album is dark I’m drawn to its light, and vice versa. What were your major influences on the new album’s emotional tones?
“I was inspired by Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, and Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.” I wanted the tone to be contemplative but free of angst. Like a tall glass of water for your brain.”
How did the new songs come together?
...off of Vanessa Carlton's latest record, Liberman
“It was difficult to figure out the sonic palette, but once we did things moved quickly. We were limited in that for many of the sessions for this album it was just [producer] Steve Osborne and I sitting in a room together tinkering with sounds. Because it was just the two of us I think we ended up using my voice as more of an instrument.”
How does songwriting with your husband [Deer Tick’s John McCauley] progress?
“We have yet to sit down and write a traditional song together. John contributed some really beautiful guitar parts on the UK sessions. And when I finished the album in Nashville he helped arrange as well. He’s one of those pure forces in the studio. There is no artifice with him. Either he likes something or he doesn’t and when and if he chooses to play it’s going to be inspired and great. I love sensitive musicians like that.”
- Sunday, January 24, 2016, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
What’s most surprising about parenthood?
“I’m surprised by how chill I am. I thought I would be a bit more amped up and concerned about every little thing that she touches and goes into her body. Honestly, she’s such a confident happy baby and she brings out the best in us.
“She comes out on the road every week and a half. It’s tough, but it’s awesome. We have a tour nanny, and John comes out as well. One thing we’ve learned is that my husband and I can never tour at the same time.”