The Nashville-based singer-songwriter talks about his EP, You Can Call Me Carl, available now.
Fans haven’t heard new songs from singer-songwriter Carl Anderson in three years. Listeners won’t have to anticipate any longer with his upcoming EP, You Can Call Me Carl, out now.
Healing from heartbreak and grappling with insecurities, Anderson left his heart on his sleeve for his latest compilation of music, wrapping poetic lyrics around a vivid picture of despair.
In his interview with C&I about the new record, Anderson opens up about his songwriting and his creative influences.
Cowboys & Indians: Congratulations on your upcoming EP, You Can Call Me Carl. What are you most excited about in terms of its release and what do you hope listeners will take from it?
Carl Anderson: It’s been over three years since I have released music, so I would have to say I am most excited about having something fresh to offer my listeners. I hope people can relate to the songs and maybe feel less alone.
C&I: What’s the journey of this EP been like?
Anderson: It has been quite the journey from the release of my last album to this EP. I moved to Nashville in July 2015 with my now-ex-wife. The stress of being broke, insecure, and trying to launch my career ended up destroying our marriage, and so my life was flipped upside down. It took me a while to get back on my feet and feel confident again. I really felt worthless and needed time to think about what had happened and just be with my pain. Eventually though, I was able to swim to the other side and start writing again. This collection of songs is the result of all of that. It’s me beginning to unpack.
C&I: What inspired the music and the lyrics?
Anderson: My life and circumstances inspired this music and lyrics. Some of it is pretty on the nose. Other songs not so much, but, yeah, it’s all for the most part about me and things that I have been through.
C&I: How does this stand out from your other music?
Anderson: I think this is the most vulnerable I’ve been with my songs so far. It feels good to let a few walls down and speak my truth.
C&I: What’s your songwriting process like?
Anderson: I try and write every day. I’ll usually pick up my guitar and play for a little while and see if anything happens. I can usually get a melody or a lyric and I just follow it down from there. I’m not always feeling it though, in which case I’ll go and do something else.
C&I: Any favorite stories about how certain songs on You Can Call Me Carl came together?
Anderson: The only song on the EP that I really remember writing is “She Took Everything.” I came up with the hook early in the morning and I had arranged to have my buddy Stone come over to the house to write. When he got there we got to work on the song. It didn’t take long to finish.
C&I: Is there a specific song your fans have really taken to?
Anderson: I feel like people have taken to “She Took Everything.” It’s just very real and so sad. I think everyone has had the wind knocked out of them a time or two and can relate.
C&I: Is there a song on the new record that you’re most excited for your fans to hear?
Anderson: I would like for everyone that reads this to go and listen to “She Took Everything.”
C&I: Are there any songs that didn’t make it on the EP that we can expect to hear later on down the road?
Anderson: I actually recorded 11 songs and decided only to release these six. I’m not sure what will become of the others. I may throw them up on a band camp page or something under the name Jonathan David Gonzalez Fresco.
C&I: What musicians have been influential to you? What’s on your playlist these days?
Anderson: I’ve been listening to a lot of Richard Buckner. He’s the best.
C&I: What’s something about you that people don’t know or are surprised to learn?
Anderson: I think people are always surprised to learn that I weigh 180 pounds. I think when people hear my music they tend to think I’m probably a little bit skinnier.
C&I: What can we expect next?
Anderson: I’ll be on the road with various artists throughout the summer and fall. I’m going to try and write more songs and keep it going.
For more information on Carl Anderson, visit his website. Photography: Courtesy Laura E. Partain.