Exposé Online banner

Carta — An Index of Birds
(Silber 077, 2010, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2011-06-01

An Index of Birds Cover art

Carta hail from the S.F. Bay Area and currently consist of Kyle Monday (guitar), Sacha Galvagna (bass, keyboards), Ray Welter (guitar, keyboards), Gabriel Coan (drums, electronics), Jason Perez (bass, guitar, electronics), and Raj Ojha (drums), with Alex Kort (cello) and Lorealle Bishop (vocals). It’s an eclectic lineup that doesn’t reveal all its potential on this sophomore effort (their debut was 2007’s The Glass Bottom Boat). Instead most of these 13 tracks focus on interlocking guitars set against drums and bass with a distinctly post-rock / shoegazey introspection. Think Oceansize but toned down several notches. Most of the songs are instrumentals, with the occasional vocal handled either in a subdued semi-murmur, as seen on “Building Bridges,” or in a primal therapy caterwaul (“Back to Nature”). At times the emotional numbness in the songs gives way to something more forceful, like when everything erupts toward the end of “Sidereal,” or in “Descension” when Ojha’s rolling percussion elevates Bishop’s redemptive vocal. This is a band unafraid to push into more experimental territory, as on the Eno-esque “Bank of England” or “Hourglass,” that features cello to enhance the moody introspection. A definite break from form comes on “Who Killed the Clerk?” which can even be described as rocking. Some may see Carta as just another purveyor of aural melancholia (lines like “You’re goin’ home in an ambulance” might have something to do with it) though I see them in the same light as Kevin Moore’s minimalist solo work or some of Eno’s seminal 70s recordings. As usual your mileage may vary.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Carta

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Autumn's Grey Solace - Ablaze – This may be a Projekt release featuring a female singer and guy playing all the instruments, but if you’re expecting another Dead Can Dance clone think again. Ablaze is a collection of 11 modern...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues