This Side of Innocence

Nashville-based singer and songwriter Alyssa Carlson takes her cues from heroes like John Mellencamp, Mary Chapin Carpenter and fellow native Minnesotan Bob Dylan—her acoustic-dominated settings gently frame poetic and carefully observed lyrics about far-off dreams and close-up heartaches. Producer Neilson Hubbard (known for his work with tunesmiths like Glen Phillips and Kim Richey) keeps the sound glisteningly tasteful and the focus clearly on Carlson’s willowy vocals. Carlson demonstrates her commitment to her forebears’ show-don’t-tell ethos through evocative details in songs like the gently roiling “Jealous of the Night” and the faintly psychedelic “Castle in a Carnival,” not to mention the all-too-timely closing cover of Mellencamp’s hard-times hymn “Jackie Brown.”



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