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CD: The Looking – Songs For A Traveler

The Looking – Songs For A Traveler

All The Pretty Little Horse – 900 Miles – River In The Pines - Black Is The Color – Sail Around – Ol’ Man River – Hobo’s Meditation – Wayfaring Stranger – Blue River – Angel Of Death – Long Black Veil – Once I Had A Sweetheart

In 2013 the Looking aka Todd Carter released “Songs for a Traveler”, a mind-blowing album. 12 songs depicting sadness and endless wandering through beautifully sang stories, and well, Carter’s voice is precisely one of the album’s main strengths.

On that point he sings in a very classical, stainless fashion (opposite to Bob Dylan to make an easy example) and puts the stress on the importance of words that have to be said out clearly, almost like the crooners used to do.

On the other hand, a complex and subtle arrangement can be heard and provides a melancholic touch that can recall Andrew Bird’s songs (especially on “Soldier On”) with whom he already played by the way. The Looking in its sensibility can also be close to R.E.M and a certain kind of romanticism.

The result is soft and country songs which, strangely enough, immediately take the listener into Carter’s own peculiar universe. “Blue River” is for instance a completely hypnotic ballad, tinged with psychedelic drops. “Black is the Color” is impressive as well. “Once I had a Sweetheart” is also to be noticed: brilliant, uplifting, with the use of Mellotron (reminds me of an old British band from the 60’s called “Spring” which used Mellotron a lot) and Carter’s almost sepulchral voice sounds just as incantations melting away.

In fact it seems that these Songs for a Traveler speak to everyone, because they speak right to the heart and every listener may feel he is this very traveler, perhaps unable to find love but rather death at the corner of every dusty street.

Indeed in his songs, Carter repeatedly tells the nonstop story of Life and Death ruled by Nature, hence an uncluttered LP where only essential things remain: one man lives, dies, then returns to the ground. There grows a tree showing a way for the next traveler, meanwhile the impassive wind still blows.

This album is a real must and a European tour is greatly awaited.

The Looking’s official website:

Antoine Betbèze, for Country Music News International


  1. Antoine, Todd Carter here from The Looking. Can you e-mail me?
    I have a question for you. Parmidian1@yahoo.com


  2. Antoine,

    Thanks for the review. Can you e-mail me?
    I have a question for you.