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

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

M.A.S.S. - Mysteria – In the early 70s there was the legendary Krautrock band Mythos, led by multi-instrumentalist Stephan Kaske. Over the decades Kaske remained active as a musician, ultimately becoming a solo electronic...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues