While pain is an integral part of the Nashville-based songwriter’s brilliant new EP, ‘You Can Call Me Carl,’ the collection is, at its heart, a story of resilience and resolve, an exploration of the ways in which we survive and the selves that we grow into. Recorded with an all-star backing band that includes Charlie Hall (The War On Drugs), Phil Cook (Hiss Golden Messenger), Daniel Clarke (Ryan Adams), and Rick Holstrom (Mavis Staples), the EP is lush but understated, with rich, rootsy arrangements underpinning Anderson’s reedy voice as he grapples with the fallout from infidelity, heartbreak, and betrayal. Despite their serious emotional weight, the songs are ultimately exercises in optimism, little journeys to Hell and back that find their author emerging stronger and more self-reliant than ever before.
“Sometimes when you’re in a difficult stretch like that, it can feel like you’re being tested,” Anderson explains. “Music was a way for me to talk through everything I was going through with myself, and I feel lucky now to be on the other side of it all with this EP in hand.”