Carrie Turner (EP)

Carrie Turner

Amusement Recordings/Roost Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Ludwik Wodka


Back in 2006, Carrie Turner, a promising country artist from Stockton, CA, was nominated for Independent Female Singer/Songwriter of the Year at the 16th Annual L.A. Music Awards. Now, she is back with a new four-song EP that encapsulates what makes her special. Comfortable and confident with her material, the musical performances are expertly performed by Turner’s supporting band, which includes accomplished veterans Greg Leisz (Jackson Browne, Beck), Sara Watkins, Jay Bellerose (Rumor, Patty Griffin, Joe Henry), and Jennifer Condos (Ryan Adams, Graham Nash).my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The opening track “Jackie” is a folk-country ballad reminiscent of Ryan Adams and Patti Griffin. It’s a ballad that tells of a woman at the end of her tether, trying desperately to summon the courage to face her demons, both around her and internally. Turner delivers this track with the sympathy and tenderness that the song’s subject seems to crave so much.

“Patience” and “Set You Free” both show her summoning her strength, but the plaintive vocals and simple arrangement suggest a more patient, inner strength versus one that is more outwardly confrontational. “Set You Free” exudes more confidence than the vulnerability that characterizes the other tracks on this EP, but nonetheless, this song bravely bears the sadness of letting someone go.

“White Walls” is Turner at her most personal. Full of imagery of exhaustion (“this old blue dress is ripping at the seams”) and emptiness (“white wall and empty frames”), she sings of giving away too much of herself: “And your wishing well swallowed up my dreams / But I guess that's what you need / But what about me?”  It’s a strong finish for this short set with her best and most convincing vocal performance.

Carrie Turner’s EP is full of promise with strong material and performances, blending quiet musings in the style of Kathleen Edwards with the contemporary country flavor of Miranda Lambert. The musical accompaniment throughout is sharp but understated, showcasing the vocals at the front of the mix. This EP has a laidback and comfortable feel to compliment the intimacy of the lyrics. Yet it only takes four songs for Carrie Turner to give us a glimpse of a crumbling world of heartbreak, all at once crestfallen, beautiful, and real.

Rating: A-

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