Tim Carr leaves us hanging on his new EP, Swing & Turn, which comes out Oct. 3 and premieres exclusively below.
While Carr has established his name as a sideman for Haim, Nick Cave, the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Lucinda Williams and others, his own music hews to the personal. “I guess all my songs sort of share similar, kind of existential themes of searching and that kind of thing,” Carr tells Billboard. Swing & Turn, however, is the most personal of all, inspired by “my romantic relationship” at the time and not necessarily reaching resolution by the time the five songs run their course.
“I think of this as a Part 1,” Carr says of the EP, a textured affair that ranges from gauzy soundscapes to gentle melodies and breezy, Beach Boys-styled vocal harmonies. “There are a few lingering things that I may put out as, like, a B side or kind of a Part 2 of this collection. That might be the next thing I put out, depending on where I’m at with other songs.” Carr’s schedule is also busy producing fledgling singer-songwriters, but the music he’s making now “means a lot to me, so it’s the thing I keep coming back to and tinkering with things.”
And while the music school-educated Carr, a California Institute of the Arts alumnus who hails from a family of musicians, has proven he’s capable as a collaborator, the music he makes on his own is truly, well, on his own. “I do everything myself,” he says. “It’s a very isolated process, but I’m kind of at peace with that. I really feel like I’m in my element when I’m working on songs in that way and writing and recording and experimenting and sort of noodling with melodies. I just get a lot of pleasure form that and become kind of obsessive with it, so I’m best left to my own devices.”
Carr adds that, “I don’t view myself as a singer-songwriter in the conventional sense, where you’d write songs about what you’re feeling and go find a band and go into the studio. To me this is almost like a production project, except it’s me producing myself.”
Carr will be touring Europe this fall with this band the Americans after a handful of solo shows during September. After returning, he’ll be back in the studio producing others but also hunkering down on what he wants to do next for himself. “I’m definitely going to dedicate time this winter to really focus in on what the next steps are for releasing this kind of new music,” Carr says. “I do a lot of different types of music; These (Swing & Turn) songs were in a good place and some of the other ones were going down different paths, so it made sense to consolidate these and release them and then see what I want to do with the other things.”