Singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton took an uncommon four years between albums before releasing her fourth, “Rabbits on the Run,” in July. And she says that there was a period she felt she might not make another album at all.
“I was looking back and I just wasn’t happy with the compromises that I’d made, and I felt unclear about a lot of the decisions I’d made,” explains Carlton, 31, best known for her Top 5 2002 single “A Thousand Miles.”
“I felt like I was sleepwalking through a couple of records. I don’t want to undermine the whole body of work, ’cause there are definitely moments of real honesty and beauty, but overall it felt cloudy.
“So I didn’t want to do another record unless it was completely honest, and I wasn’t sure if I could achieve that. So I kind of put things on hold for a while.”
Carlton improved her situation by leaving the major-label world and signing with the smaller Razor & Tie label, then heading to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in England to make “Rabbits on the Run” with producer Steve Osbourne.
“I was, for the first time, really independent, really on my own,” Carlton says. “There was no more of that classic boyfriend (Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins) becomes producer or classic older male (label) president telling you what to do. All those things were gone.
“It was pretty scary, actually. I always wished on one level not to have any of those ties anymore, but at the same time, when it came it was pretty spooky. But when I figured out pretty clearly what this project was, it was one of the most restorative periods of my life.”
Vanessa Carlton performs with Matt Nathanson on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Clutch Cargo’s 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Call 248-333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.
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