To casual listeners, Vanessa Carlton is a long-forgotten one-hit wonder. It’s been a whole thirteen years since we first heard the famous piano run of “A Thousand Miles (watch below),” but Carlton is still going strong. If you haven’t listened to her since then, it’s the perfect time to rediscover the underrated singer-songwriter.
She’s just dropped “Young Heart,” the preview single for her upcoming album Liberman, to be released this fall. She’s been performing the track since June 2014. Though “Young Heart” won’t be featured on the album, it is intended to offer an indication of what we can expect from Liberman.
If “Young Heart” is a good indication, then we can expect more of the earthy, dreamy, resonant tones of Rabbits on the Run, her excellent 2011 release. Though it only peaked at #62 on the Billboard 200, Rabbits was easily Carlton’s most mature and fully-realized effort, drawing sonic inspiration from her mentor, Stevie Nicks.
There’s no announcement of when the first true single from Liberman will be released. Pre-singles aren’t unprecedented: Kendrick Lamar did it with i, but “Young Heart” is unique in that the fact that it won’t be featured on the album has been announced up front.
Speaking of the song’s lyrical content, Carlton wrote on YouTube, “‘Young Heart’ is about regretting the way you loved someone… Ultimately the song is like a letter asking for a second chance.” Lyrics like, “I’ve always loved you; haven’t always love you right. / I had no direction; I had no clear sight” are sure to resonant with anyone who’s ever yearned for the opportunity to correct past romantic mistakes.
“Young Heart” premiered on Soundcloud Monday and is now available at all digital retailers.