Carter James had a busy year in music. The 18 year old singer-songwriter spent his 2017 pushing out 3 EP’s, several incredible singles, and attending high school. Starting on Vine in late 2014, Carter began to grow an audience online. After writing a song about the Norwegian television show "Skam" in December 2016, James found a large fanbase in Scandinavia. Carter's debut EP, "Falling out of Love," is now available.
EP Falling Out Of Love: “Falling Out Of Love” was James’s first EP in 2017, filled with love songs and emotions of someone weighing the pros and cons of being in a relationship. Songs like “Enough Without You” and “Raven” seem to address the push and pulls of love and caring about someone else as well as keeping yourself in mind. The EP smoothly sets out a great collection of bittersweet love songs that are missing in our current music climate.
Single Anxious Mind: James’s single “Anxious Mind” was dropped in September 2017. The lyrics are beautiful and the music allows for his vocals to soar. Overall, a great song and a beautiful, calming sound I like to end a day with. I guess you could say it soothes an “Anxious Mind” like mine.
Flash Photography: James released his single “Flash Photography” at the very end of 2017 on Spotify after previously only having it on his YouTube channel for several months. James said in the description to the song’s video that he, “Wrote this song about the current state of gun control in America and the detrimental effects it has caused as of late. I hope this helps start a conversation.” The song’s lyrics hit deep at the dangers of gun violence and also make listeners aware of the seeming lack of care Americans have when approaching, or ignoring, the issue of gun violence. This single sets James apart in his ability to tell a reality through his lyrics especially in retrospect of the violent events, such as the death of Christina Grimmie and the victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting, to whom the song was dedicated. #SHOOTPICTURESNOTPEOPLE
Single Antidote: James released his single “Antidote” as well as a music video, which was greeted with much excitement from fans. Upon the highly anticipated release of the music video James commented twice with these messages:
“I was told by several people to not upload this video because they said portraying a same sex couple would "limit my audience." I don't think that is right, so let’s prove them wrong.”
“The purpose of this video was not to stigmatize cheating in the LGBT+ community, but simply to portray a situation that is all too common due to the heteronormative atmosphere in the United States. I hope this resonates with you.”
The single and video did just that. James created a masterpiece of a song lyrically and in production and coupled it with an incredible music video. Fans came out in support of his create decisions in the music video, all saying things along the lines of, “he can create whatever image he wants, what he stands for and his message are part of who he is as an artist and if fans disagree with that or won’t accept that, then they aren’t really being fans.” Honestly, “Antidote” is one of my favorite songs of 2017, and the time and care James put into both the song and the video shows in the product.
Single Drive: “Drive” I think is one major song for James from 2017. Both the track and lyrics are a break from his more floaty romantic sound. The two minute and ten second song got stuck in my head after the first listen. I really hope Carter James keeps making music in this direction in 2018.
EP Yellow: James’s EP “Yellow” came out in the beginning of December, taking a slightly different path from his first EP in 2017, “Falling Out Of Love.” “Yellow” is full of chill, vibey music. The love song filled EP is the only one James has not created content for on his YouTube channel, including official audios. One of my favorite songs is on this EP, “Running Away.” Something about the lyrics and the emotions can connect to any situation where you felt you needed to distance yourself. Overall, a very emotional and floaty album, great for a chill night in.
EP Drowning: My personal favorite collection of Carter James’ songs would be his EP “Drowning.” The songs not only resonated with me, but with his fans. Across the board fans posted endless comments about how much songs on this EP meant to them. These songs about feeling invisible, unheard, or misunderstood stuck with fans, Carter James, by sharing his own thoughts and feelings, was able to give a voice to and acknowledge the fans who felt the same way, but originally felt alone. The moody songs with a mix of piano and synth instruments marry indie and pop genres together beautifully for a unique and distinctly “Carter James” sound.
Written and Edited by: Hannah Schneider