IN RETROSPECT: Vanessa Carlton – “White Houses”

Vanessa Carlton is probably best known for her 2002 debut hit single “A Thousand Miles”, or its memorable feature in the 2004 film White Chicks. That iconic piano motif and those whimsical lyrics of longing won over a lot of hearts, as well as earning the American three Grammy Award nominations, with both the song and her debut album Be Not Nobody charting in several countries.

Carlton has since gone on to release more albums, albeit with less commercial success and not without some label issues, including her most recent Liberman in 2015. But shortly after her big break came her sophomore album, Harmonium (2004), named after the organ-type musical instrument. “White Houses” was the lead single and opening track, co-written and produced by Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind), and it’s a coming-of-age story of na├»vety, friendships, comparison and the sensitive topic of losing one’s virginity.

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INTERVIEW: Annalise Lam

Annalise Lam is a remarkable young jazz and pop violinist based in the musical city of Bristol. Having been involved in music since she was very young, she’s an intuitive and dedicated talent with a spirited energy and inquisitive attitude to music in many of its styles. She has played at a number of festivals, and with orchestras and a quite a few local bands and musicians, including Immigrant Swing, Julia Turner – and myself.

Last week I’d scheduled to rehearse with Lam (who also happens to be my friend) and I asked if she’d be so kind as to let me interview her – gladly she agreed. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know her a little better… or in other words have a slightly more formal and thus potentially awkward chat.

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