Carter Tanton's Freeclouds is arguably the long overdue follow-up to his former band Tulsa's 2007 EP I Was Submerged. Tulsa spent two years writing and recording their follow-up to the EP, but it was never released due to label and legal struggles. Discouraged, the band broke up and Carter focused his energy on his role in as a guitar player in Marissa Nadler's band, touring extensively and eventually recording and arranging parts for her recently released self-titled record. His experience working on Nadler's record ultimately served as the catalyst that inspired him to record Freeclouds. In addition to recording and co-writing one song on Marissa Nadler's well-received 2011 album, Carter has recorded albums by George Lewis Jr (Twin Shadow) and Drug Rug among others. He's currently a member of Lower Dens.
...his indie-seraphim voice is not of this world — set in the same alpine reverb where Jim James of My Morning Jacket lives — while the iridescent bloom of the guitars is a quality flashback to the clean-twang and country-fuzz blend of the 1968-69 Byrds.
Watching him, I honestly believed he was lip-synching as he played, because I just couldn't believe this powerful, forlorn voice was coming out of this slight, unassuming body. He flew through three emotional covers by The Carter Family, The Kinks, and Townes Van Zandt....Carter then introduced his fourth song as a new one — so new that he hadn't even titled it yet....This is the one that really confirmed for me that he's one of the best singer-songwriters in the country today. It was a beautiful song, fittingly about the morning, one that I knew immediately we'd be getting tons of requests to hear again. Then he closed the set...in the same sorrowful voice that just floored me...
Lead singer Carter Tanton has a spectacular voice, and he uses it to the fullest, with long, plunging held notes, wordless accents, and a self-harmonizing technique that lends weightlessness to some of his best melodic phrases. His voice, as much as the songwriting, makes these songs memorable and gives them an ageless quality. Though Tanton could probably sing a recipe for chocolate éclairs and still make it sound good.
He was sleeping in his parents’ basement, playing every instrument, going through this breakup,...That was the first time I saw someone make music obsessively. I’d never seen anyone living inside of something, to that level.