TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Vanessa Carlton, Liberman

There was a moment during our Som Records in-store shoot with Vanessa Carlton—you can check it out here—when we collectively realized we didn’t have a copy of Liberman, her new and warmly received LP, on premises! A plan was immediately afoot to not only remedy this post haste, but to put the LP in the hands of a few of you. And we’ve got 3 copies of the record to do just that.

We should add that “warmly received” might be an understatement, Popmatters noting last October, “…the record itself is one of the strongest and most consistent of Carlton’s career. Liberman continues further into the reverb laden, dream-pop direction of Rabbits on the Run. At times, Liberman reminds the listener slightly of Nordic dream-pop enthusiasts like the Radio Dept. or Delay Trees, although Carlton never approaches the more noisy excursions of the former.

Liberman’s ten tracks whip by, each track filled with sweet, well-timed melodies and haunting atmosphere. It is over before you know it, compelling the listener to repeated, often back-to-back listens. Opener “Take It Easy” begins with a throbbing, almost danceable rhythmic pulse that would not sound out of place on one of the ‘Italians Do It Better’ records.

While this sound is kind of new territory for Carlton, it works really well for the song and anyone who listened carefully to Rabbits on the Run will not be surprised by it. Mid-album highlight “Nothing Where Something Used to Be” also employs the rhythmic sensibility observed on “Take It Easy” while also displaying the lovely vocal melodies that have always been one Carlton’s greatest strengths as an artist.”

The notoriously prickly Pitchfork weighed in, “…Like the bulk of her recordings, it’s still comprised of her honeysuckle voice and piano licks, but Liberman (so named after Carlton’s grandfather, one of whose paintings of nudes hangs in her home and served, she says, as a sort of inspiration) either lets those components stand alone or accentuates them with mild indulgences, like blunted brass or hand claps. The bare songwriting is not something you would identify as avant-garde, but Carlton’s inclinations are a lot weirder than they used to be…

Still, Liberman is excellent on its own. Carlton’s voice is the key attraction on songs that register between low-key pop, rock, and folk. Early single “Blue Pool,” for example, touches on each in a way that feels refreshingly old school, as though pop radio these days was comprised of Fleetwood Mac and the Mamas and the Papas…”

Why listen to critics however when we’ve got 3 copies of Liberman to mail to 3 of you. Enter to win a copy of the record by citing in the comments below your favorite track off Liberman or from any other of Vanessa’s releases—and briefly why.

We’ll choose 3 enthusiastic entrants with a North American mailing address a week from today, February 11, 2016.

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  • Lisa Federer

    I’m so excited to give Liberman a listen! When I was in high school, I loved her album Be Not Nobody. I had played the piano since a young age, and I loved hearing the instrument could be used in pop music, not just the classical I played. I loved A Thousand Miles in particular for its catchy piano riffs.

  • Amy

    My favorite from Liberman is Nothing Where Something Used to Be! The lyrics really resonate with me in a lot of ways and it’s just SO beautiful. Vanessa has been one of my favorite artists for a really long time now and I’m so glad she’s still making new music (which seems to get better with every release!)

  • Samantha Shervin Piedilato

    I’ve been listening to Vanessa since A Thousand Miles came a out on the radio when I was in high school, and she has continued to grow as a songwriter, in the same way I have grown as a listener. Rabbits on the Run is my favorite of her albums, but Liberman is fast approaching that and Heroes & Thieves.

    There is so much wisdom in the lyrics of Liberman. It has been a joy and inspiration to unwrap, so to speak. My favorite song is River, for sure. The lyrics “we’re just sailors on the sea” are so powerful and are some of my favorite lyrics ever. I’m thinking of getting it tattooed, because I think we could all use a reminder that though we can’t control life, and that is scary sometimes, everything is temporary, so we should “Take it Easy.”

  • Rob

    I love Liberman, but my favorite song of her has been and always will be White Houses. It always makes me feel like I’m listening to a secret I shouldn’t really know.

  • Mitchell Garver

    Good God! Liberman is a true piece of artwork and owning the actual, tangible vinyl would only make it that much better (I’ve seen the artwork and now I must have a copy). It seems as though I’ve been listening to VCarl forever and the more she changes and grows the more I do too. I think that’s what I like about her so much. Her chameleon-esque capability to produce records so different from her past ones, without straying too far from her original aesthetic. Nothing Where Something Used to be is the song I have synced up with my iPhone’s alarm clock. Every weekday morning, around 8:40 am, that lush guitar riff works its way into my ears, and just like that Vanessa Carlton single-handedly coerces me out of my bed without as much as a groan on my part. That song pulls me in, hugs me, speeds up my heart and altogether just makes me want to shake Ms. Carlton’s hand. When you compare Liberman to any of Vanessa’s past works it becomes clear that this record is a true passion piece for Carlton; you can tell she took her time with it, sat with it for a while, perfected it, made it exactly the way she dreamt it up. Liberman is the best thing that happened to me in 2015 and winning a copy of the LP would be the best thing to happen to me in 2016. (Unless you can get Vanessa to personally wake me up each morning, that would be the real best thing.)

  • Walker Iversen

    My favorite track on Liberman is “Blue Pool”. This track has a lot in common with my favorites from the rest of Vanessa’s catalogue. Like those songs, it benefits from her being classically trained by her piano teacher mother. Her rolling arpeggios are beautiful and not often heard in piano pop-songs, which often favor chords above anything. It’s also one of the many reasons “A Thousand Miles” has endured like it has. Vanessa has succeeded as a musician beyond her talent with the piano, though. Her ability to write powerful lyrics and layer ear-worm melodies on them, without stripping either of their depth or artistry is unlike anything I’ve seen or heard. Not to mention that she has worked steadily on atmosphere and sonic cohesiveness that has lead to her most touching and moving work on her fourth and fifth records. Vanessa Carlton has been affecting me my entire life. From the minute I heard “A Thousand Miles” in second grade I’ve been hooked for life and as she has developed as an artist, her music has helped me develop as person.

    I’m not sure where you’d find my address, but I am located in North America and can give my address if needed.

  • Minjie Li

    My Address is: 4243 Burbank Dr., Apt. 203, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70808.

    While I LOVE every song on Liberman, the song that has a special in my hear is The Marching Line from Rabbits on the Run. It’s very theatrical dream-pop. You can literally picture every scene from the very first sentence of lyrics. “Boots on concrete; Don’t slip on the leaves; Smile at the strangers;Won’t know what you mean; Clouds like cathedrals; Night hits the sea.” The arrangement of the song is absolutely beautiful. Also, she has been sing this song in her Liberman tour so as to dedicate this songs to the victims and heroes in the tragedy in France, which makes me love this song even more. Wish I could win a vinyl copy of Liberman – I love Vanessa Carlton, always.XX

  • Jay

    I absolutely adore Vanessa’s new album Liberman. Next to Rabbits on the Run it’s my favorite album of hers. But in looking back at her entire discography, Who’s to Say from Harmonium is one of my favorites. Having read and watched many recent interviews she has given since Liberman has been released, I know that she is more focused on the present and the future of her music versus her early recordings, but Who’s to Say came at a time when I needed it the most. I was about 19/20 when the album was released and I first heard the song. I instantly fell in love with it. I had just come out to my friends and family and so the song spoke to me on many levels. I was in love with someone at the time and so I also felt that the lyrics perfectly portrayed how I was feeling. The song gave me a lot of strength and courage after coming out. The song gave me a lot of hope. There are very few songs that have had that affect on me and so I eternally grateful that she wrote and recorded that song. When a song touches you in such a special way there’s just no ignoring it.

  • J.T.

    I know I know… but 1000 Miles is just my favorite. It had a really special meaning to my friends and me back in high school, and to this day I can’t help but smile (and air play along) whenever it comes on.

  • Mirabelle

    It’s so sosososo hard to pick, but one of my absolute favourite tracks by Vanessa has to be Hear The Bells from Rabbits on the Run. It’s beautiful and haunting and dreamy and lush. I find it very calming and even healing. It means so much to me!

  • Clay Wade

    Vanessa is truly at her best with, “Liberman,” both lyrically and sonically. The thing that attracts me most to her music is her ability to convey messages of real life love. Not cynical, not unrealistic, no wild expectations. On her last album, with the record, “I Don’t Want To Be A Bride,” Vanessa talks about the genuine connection that two individuals share. I think we as a society spend so much time focused on end results. We plan our weddings for years, but don’t put nearly as much thought into what comes next. “I Don’t Want To Be A Bride,” encourages us to focus on the connection, with lyrics like, “build a poem, we kept a rhyme. Wrapped our love in golden twine, and we wrote, we wrote a legacy.” On, “Liberman,” Vanessa’s down to earth attitudes about love continue with tracks like, “Nothing Where Something Used To Be.” Most of us can relate to perhaps that first relationship that you have that becomes serious, and perhaps for some time you believe it to be real, but in hindsight you realize you didn’t even know what a relationship should be. The first stanza says it all. “I will admit that you’re the closest I have come, there’s just something about you that I trust. I will admit that I was sad to see you go.” “Matter Of Time,” however, is perhaps my favorite track off of “Liberman.” Romantic with its acoustic guitar melody and its dreamy harmonies, my favorite lyrics are, “He said its only a matter of time before your heart is mine. Have you been searching? You’ve been looking the world over. When is it time to let go? And is it then that you know?” I think I, like so many others, have spent hours day dreaming about where that “soulmate” of ours might be, what they might be doing, and if they’re wondering about you too. Vanessa is a lyrical genius whose philosophies on love and life speak volumes to me.


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