Vanessa Carlton has gone through a lot of changes since her last album released in 2007, which is why it’s taken so long for us to have new music from her. Rabbits on the Run will release on Razor & Tie Records next month, and it appears that, in addition to getting older, the singer/songwriter has also gotten darker and more adventurous. And if her first single, “Carousel,” is any indication, it’s hauntingly good, and just in time for summer evening listening.
Vanessa chatted with us about how she writes songs in her sleep and why she came out as bisexual at a Nashville Pride performance last year.
AfterEllen.com: It’s been a couple years since your last album. What has it been like from 2007 to now? What has happened to you, what has fueled the album?
I’m sorry, it’s difficult for me to articulate because there is so much that went on. I think, slowly over the years, I’ve felt more comfortable talking about all the stuff that’s going on, so it’s just a huge shift in my life and I’m just so grateful. I’m so grateful to be able to wake up and I’m so happy to be alive and turn 30 and to be able to do this record.
AE: With the song “Carousel” I noticed you had tweeted that you woke up and were singing this song. Could you tell me a little about that?
You know, things were getting really dark and my friend KT Tunstall, a wonderful singer-songwriter — I played her another idea, it was about death or something, or lavender, I don’t know, and she looked at me and said, “Vaness, don’t get too dark.” And I’m really glad she said that because it really gave me permission, in a way, to let the light in. This was the first shard of light that crept in on this record, and I just love that now it’s opening the record.
AE: At what point did you bring in the kid’s choir to work on the songs like that? Because I feel like it does give it a little brightness but also kid’s choirs can be haunting, they use them in horror films to be kind of creepy. [Laughs]
AE: Are those elements on the rest of the album? Is “Carousel” a good introduction to what the entire thing is going to sound like?