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Vanessa Carlton Cools Her Heels in the ‘Blue Pool’ EP

The onetime pop star's latest drops on July 24 via Dine Alone Records

Hearing the name “Vanessa Carlton” will likely inspire visuals of a young brunette woman pounding the ivory keys in a garage… then a highway… then in New York City. But that was 14 years ago. These days, Carlton has swapped rosy-cheeked pop ballads for a more adult sound.

On the minimalist Blue Pool EP, which follows her 2011 Rabbits On the Run full-length, Carlton continues to showcase her piano chops (why fix what’s not broken, right?) but layers on some synth haze, crisp acoustic strums, and thinned-out — but no less lovely — vocals.

“This EP is like a black-and-white cookie,” Carlton tells SPIN over email. “We pulled two album tracks that really represent what the upcoming album will be like. The other side of the cookie are two versions of album tracks in one-take piano vocal form. To sum it up, one side is dreamy and mellow, one side is pretty emo.”

Listen to Blue Pool below, and grab it when it drops on July 24 via Dine Alone Records.