Tyler Carter

tylercarterart1Leave Your Love by Tyler Carter (Velocity/Rise Records)

January 13th marked the official release of Tyler Carter’s debut solo EP via Rise Records — and it’s a breath of fresh air that you’re going to want to take.

Carter’s new EP, Leave Your Love, is a heavy-hearted wrestling match with how to love and how to deal with lost love. Amidst the apparent heartache of this unique collection, the Issues vocalist journeys into understanding who he is relative to who you are, who I am, and for that matter, who ALL of us are. In a very real way, Carter establishes his own musical identity through these six songs.

Style wise, an EDM listener might love this as much as an R&B fan. It’s somewhere in the middle with regard to genre. In fact, the genre of this EP is very blurred. This is, I think, intentionally done. A careful listener will hear the musical maturity of Carter’s implementation of dynamic, soulful vocal melody juxtaposed with blunt, over-honest rap sections.

Let’s get down to specifics…There are a few tracks to give very careful consideration on this EP. You won’t passively digest the content despite a somewhat easy listening feel. In the opening track, “Sophisticated”, Carter dives into a new pop-driven territory and explores a individualized love encounter. While extrapolating his examination of the love interest in this track, he is demonstrating something a little bit more raw in his vocal delivery.

By the time we get to the title track, “Leave Your Love”, Carter’s vocal dynamic is completely different than anything we’ve been made accustomed to by his performances in Issues or Woe, Is Me.

Carter drops into a lower register for most of what I can hear on this record, and saves that familiar tenor belting for artistic accents. Instead, he relies on his head voice for most of the higher parts in this record. This is highly evident in “Leave Your Love” and the EP’s first single, “Georgia”.

Carter is an avant-garde romantic in “So Slow” — the track which defines this EP’s cross pollination of Hip Hop and R&B. This song is an allegory of the touring musician’s battle with trying to maintain love. It even drops into something of a vocal breakdown — counteracting cool, upbeat synth with some brilliantly adjusted vocal freestyle.

If you want to get straight into the meat of this record, give thoughtful consideration to songs like “Sophisticated”, “Georgia” and “Tears on the Runway Pt. 1”. The interplay of Carter’s vocal style with guest vocalist Nylo in the latter track simply had to be forged in heaven.

Overall, the solid production of this EP alongside equally listenable musical content earned a well-deserved 4/5 from me. If we can look forward to a full-length release from Carter in the near future, this reviewer will be happy to give it a thorough listen.

(Review by Zachary S. Valladon)

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