Vagabon has returned with more music, kicking off the new year by sharing a lyric video for her new song “Carpenter.” It’s the first single she’s released since her 2019 self-titled debut album and comes as the first piece of music she plans to release this year, which will include her forthcoming sophomore album. In the interim, she’s dueted with indie rollicker Courtney Barnett for a cover of Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe” and is now preparing to head out on tour with Weyes Blood this spring.
As with many of Vagabon’s songs, “Carpenter” balances its melodic euphoria against intense introspections. Across a soundscape filled with euphoric percussion and lush beats, she weaves a cautionary tale about discovering the natural barriers we build around our hearts and minds. “I wasn’t ready to hear you out / I wasn’t ready to pull me out,” she sings against the encouraging drumming that tumbles in the background.
But “Carpenter” isn’t about being stuck in the past and agonizing over the unchangeable. Vagabon also instills the need to grow — that overcoming one’s limitations and evolving into a different person is a necessary part of life. “But I”m all ready now,” she rejoices. And the buoyant rhythms that twist and coil themselves around her invigorating vocals echo her triumph.
“‘Carpenter’ is about that humbling feeling when you desperately want to be knowledgeable, you want to be advanced, you want to be mature, forward thinking, and evolved,” Tamko explains. “It’s about being confronted with your limitations. It’s about that A-HA moment, when a lesson from the past finally clicks and you want to run and tell someone who bore witness to the old you, ‘I finally get it now.'”
Known for creating memorable music videos to go along with her songs, “Carpenter” also comes with a lyric video. Her poignant words punctuated by their appearance on screen, the video flashes a few striking portraits of Vagabon, layering them over one another in warm hues. In a lot of ways (especially because of the photos used of Vagabon) the video and the song’s theme of saying goodbye to an older version of yourself is an appropriate one for the artist. Especially as she enters a new era of her music with the hotly anticipated release of her second album.
See Vagabon with Weyes Blood at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on Mar. 26. See the complete list of dates below!
Vagabon tour (w/ Weyes Blood)
3/13 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Pabst Theater
3/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
3/15 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
3/17 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
3/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
3/19 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
3/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom – SOLD OUT
3/22 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
3/23 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
3/25 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom – SOLD OUT
3/26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
3/28 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
3/29 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf – SOLD OUT
3/31 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
4/1 – Dallas, TX @ Studio at The Factory
4/2 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
Words Steven Ward
Watch the lyric video for “Carpenter” the new single from Vagabon!