Carter Tanton has a history with strong women. He’s played
guitar for Jana Hunter and Marissa Nadler and shared songwriting credits with
Nadler for “Puppet Master,” off her 2011 self-titled album. He’s recorded
before on his own account as Tulsa,
but this time puts his name and face up front, in one of the year’s best
strummy, acoustic campfire sensitivity (“In Knots) with sweeping, anthemic rock
(the fantastic “Murderous Joy”), a la sometime tour mates in the War on Drugs, tipping both styles into wild, mildly
psychotropic territories. Tanton’s voice, a real asset, runs cool and steady
over jangle-y tumults, a glow of reverb bringing out ghostly vibrato-trills. The
whole album feels ever so slightly out of sync with reality as we know it, in
the wavery guitar effects of trippy “Nylon,” the slow, late-Beatles swagger of
“Saturday” and the wall-of-guitars clamor of “Horrorscope,” as if Tanton had
access to other, more brightly colored realities.
Vetiver, Fruit Bats, Donkeys et al take note: Carter Tanton
has upped your game.
Joy” “Horrorscope” JENNIFER KELLY