CD: The Looking – Songs For A Traveler

The Looking
– Songs For A Traveler

The Pretty Little Horse – 900 Miles – River In The Pines – Black
Is The Color – Sail Around – Ol’ Man River – Hobo’s
Meditation – Wayfaring Stranger – Blue River – Angel Of Death
– Long Black Veil – Once I Had A Sweetheart
2013 the Looking aka Todd Carter released “Songs for a Traveler”,
a mind-blowing album. 12 songs depicting sadness and endless
wandering through beautifully sang stories, and well, Carter’s
voice is precisely one of the album’s main strengths.
that point he sings in a very classical, stainless fashion (opposite
to Bob Dylan to make an easy example) and puts the stress on the
importance of words that have to be said out clearly, almost like the
crooners used to do.
the other hand, a complex and subtle arrangement can be heard and
provides a melancholic touch that can recall Andrew Bird’s songs
(especially on “Soldier On”) with whom he already played by the
way. The Looking in its sensibility can also be close to R.E.M and a
certain kind of romanticism.
result is soft and country songs which, strangely enough, immediately
take the listener into Carter’s own peculiar universe. “Blue
River” is for instance a completely hypnotic ballad, tinged with
psychedelic drops. “Black is the Color” is impressive as well.
“Once I had a Sweetheart” is also to be noticed: brilliant,
uplifting, with the use of Mellotron (reminds me of an old British
band from the 60’s called “Spring” which used Mellotron a lot)
and Carter’s almost sepulchral voice sounds just as incantations
melting away.
fact it seems that these Songs for a Traveler speak to everyone,
because they speak right to the heart and every listener may feel he
is this very traveler, perhaps unable to find love but rather death
at the corner of every dusty street.
in his songs, Carter repeatedly tells the nonstop story of Life and
Death ruled by Nature, hence an uncluttered LP where only essential
things remain: one man lives, dies, then returns to the ground. There
grows a tree showing a way for the next traveler, meanwhile the
impassive wind still blows.
album is a real must and a European tour is greatly awaited.
Looking’s official website:
Betbèze, for Country Music News International

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