"The Faults Follow" Reviews:

Leonard's Lair: "It's a rare trick to make slow to mid-paced music so compelling but 'The Faults Follow' reveals that all band members have the experience and the confidence to write an album which haunts long after the record has finished playing."

The Big Takeover: "Carta evokes emotion from their sound rather than from their words. Vocals are almost an afterthought, though guest vocalist Odessa Chen's lilting voice is clearly in the foreground on "The Iowa Fight Song." Through death, divorce, and illness, they've managed to pull off something that is beautiful yet challenging. It unveils itself over time and reveals many-hued layers of complexity, yet it can also be boiled down to simple melodies."

It's Psychedelic Baby: "Sadness has rarely been captured so elegantly"

I Am Not A Musician: "The Faults Follow is an album that will make you uncomfortable. It is emotionally raw and stripped down, both lyrically and musically. It is intense and exhausting, but also very real and very personal. It is Carta's struggles translated into a well thought-out and brilliantly produced album that leaves a mark in every listener's heart. "The Faults Follow" is meaningful and powerful statement."

Komakino: "... connects the dots between the two decades dividing The God Machine (the trascendental "The Reapers are the Angels") and Tones on Tail ("The Hollow Greeting"): it is gloomy, sedated and dramatic, bathing into a bitter romance."

"An Index of Birds" Reviews:

Norman Records: "There's lots of lovely orchestration carefully positioned which add an extra dimension to the sound... making it richer and fuller. The more I listen to the album the more I think this band have something about them. It's done with style and panache ... It's a very varied album with the songs dipping from instrumentals, to songs with vocals, slower more broodings tunes and then more energetic ones."

Dezj: Music Musings and Miscellany: "The slow burning, hypnotic epic 'Descension' is a fabulous centrepiece. Stately piano and strings aged like a fine wine make 'Bank of England' a lovely, dreamy interlude while 'Back to Nature' almost takes you back to the days of post-hardcore acts like Rites of Spring and Drive Like Jehu. Indeed, itís the second half of the album thatís the strongest and most diverse. 'Who Killed the Clerk?' skips around in a high tempo like Polvo in contrast to the funereal and slightly surreal closer 'The Late Alfred M'

All Music Guide: "Carta's second album finds bandleader Kyle Monday and a supporting sextet of players, most prominently multi-instrumentalist Sacha Galvagna, creating an hourlong work that, like its predecessor, works within a clear tradition of moody, romantically inclined rock-as-atmosphere bands while finding its own space over its 13 tracks...the lengthy 'Descension' may be the slowest build of all throughout the album, but the addition of singing gives a focus that makes the song's fantastic conclusion all that much more powerful, an arrangement that showcases Monday's ear for the dramatic at its best."

Babysue: "There are so many wonderfully inventive tracks here. We love the really cool atmospherics in the piano track "Small Lights," the unbelievable bass sound in "The Likeness is Undeniable," and the cool, distant Curved Air-like vocals in "Descension." Decidedly subdued and very, very groovy."

The Silent Ballet: "(Carta)'s brand of moody, slow, mostly instrumental music is on par with the big names of the form. Carta certainly deserves a larger audience, and An Index of Birds is an impressive enough record to solidify its reputation ... (on) the longest song on Index, and also one of the high points, 'Descension' ... the piano, cello, and Lorealle Bishopís vocals all work together perfectly, and it is this nuanced blending of the elements that prove that Carta is ready for the big time'."

Terrascope: "The first time I heard this was after a helluva day at the old coal face and the relaxing yet uplifting effect of ìAn Index of Birdsî was immediate and lasting. They really ought to offer this kind of stuff on prescription."

Foxy Digitalis: "This is truly an album to cherish during those quiet moments when you need to relax after a troubling day, or just want to stare at the sunset or walk through the snowfall and reminisce about the times of your life when everything was alright with the world ñ those photographic moments youíll look back on and cherish 10, 20, and 30 years from now. One of my favorite releases of the new year and another classic in the snorecore canon."

Pins and Cathedral Bells: "This combines elements of post rock, slowcore and shoegaze to create an album worthy of adding to your collection. The recording and mixing of this was intended to "make things sound like they have been recovered from a broken ship" resulting in thirteen tracks of reflective mood with a sinister tone. Another fine release from Silber."

Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange: "Nonetheless, when 'Descension' arrives, an unearthly beauty floats down from the clouds in magisterial lament, forming the milieu for a several-track-long denouement that's creepy, elegant, and, in the splintering crash of 'Back to Nature,' visceral."

KFJC: "This is a lovely collection of ambient, shoegazy, and sometimes psychedelic tracks. Many are instrumental, although strong male and female voices arise out of the ether with solemn lyrics. Guitars, cello, percussion, keyboards, and programming evoke mellow and melancholy images of nature. No actual bird sounds, except you can imagine them on 7 and in 12. Really pretty and right up the alley of many."

KUCI: "A really pretty and melancholy record thats in the vein of slow-core and post-rock, sort of like Low. Very delicate strings and piano peppered with vocals here and there to create an atmospheric calming album."

Monsiur Delire: "The group blends post-rock, shoegaze and a light Gothic touch. The album boasts rich arrangements, and it doesnít overdo textures, relying instead on strong though plaintive songwriting....the graphic design ... is downright GORGEOUS."

Tome to the Weather Machine: "Carta take the prettiest moments of Low, the downcast shuffling rhythm section of unsung slowcore heroes Spokane, and the maritime steadiness of Unwed Sailor and processes them through the post-classical sensibilities of Rachel's or this years amazing Slow Six. Gorgeous stuff."

<Echoes and Dust: "The catatonically epic Descension is another high point, a Slowdive like an excursion in to the dark depths of the soul."

Delusions of Adequacy: "very nearly a minor masterpiece"

Inkoma: "Think of Mogwai, Piano Magic and Low. Because these are the names which popped me up as i listened to the buzzing distortions of The Likeness Is Undeniable and to the mellow sounds and sweet female vocals of Descension."

Hierophant Nox: "his is, on the surface, very introverted and reflective music, to be sure, but underneath it all thereís an edginess which leaves one slightly unnerved."

Kevchino: "Carta navigates often bleak, chilling musical landscapes with blessed acumen."

East Bay Express: "The few songs with vocals are equally lovely, with a haunting, distinctive tone."

ReviewerMag: "The music is great, a bit atmospheric and hazy at times, but musically, the lush and bittersweet lyrics override a melancholy yet studied and perfected craftwork."

HearWax Media: " I listened to this album during a thunderstorm, and it made the perfect soundtrack, as it was just moody enough to evoke the perfect ambiance in my room as the rain poured."

Small Town Romance: "Carta's new album should definitely put them on in the king sized bed of monsters like Low and some of Constellation bands, and it should give a warning sign to Mogwai to get their acts together and starve again."

Left Hip: "Carta have done just that, creating music that is simultaneously bold and bashful in its ability and ultimately rewarding for the engaged listener."

Indieville: "The aforementioned "Descension," an unmitigated epic at just over eleven minutes, is a powerful if somewhat superlative adventure that could be regarded as this record's finest achievement; it pulls out all the stops, at least."

Young Pilot Astray: "It's beautiful, it's depressing, it's strangely catchy at times, and really just a fantastic record."

Daggerzine: "Bay Area 7-piece band who, like Low or Piano Magic before them, create sad , sweeping songs that are mostly instrumental. When vocalist Kyle Monday does sing it adds another dimension to the songs as well as his rich baritone is a unque instrument itself. Check out the gorgeous "Hourglass" or the moving "Santander".

The Siren Sound: "Another extremely good band with an extremely good release. I am sure we all know Carta and most probably all of us would have this release by now. If you don't then by all means..."

Side-Line

Autres Directions (French)

Dans le mur du son (French)

Caleidoscoop (Dutch)

Loudvision (Italian)

Black Online (German)

"The Glass Bottom Boat" Reviews:

Boomkat: "A close point of reference would be Hood ... the title track ... features an Espers-style dark folk theme, largely thanks to the Meg Baird-alike vocals by Sarah Bell. As the song gathers steam ... a unfolding sense of shoegaze texture builds up, distancing the whole affair from its initially quite rustic beginnings, until by its end there's screeching distortion flying about all over the place."

The Deli SF: "Carta's Glass Bottom Boat is an extremely well crafted work of instrumental music. "

The Silent Ballet: "like a plot-twisting film or novel identifiable by its lush characters, the album offers a whirlpool of listening experiences over time, each one laced with the promise of a new discovery."

All Music Guide: "...like many fine bands before it -- Joy Division, Low, Mogwai among others -- Carta seeks to use rock band instrumentation to emphasize reflective mood rather than simply traditional performance. Unlike many other predominantly instrumental rock acts of recent years, though, Carta are blessedly free of the go-nowhere dullardry that ended up giving post-rock a bad name -- the group's songs are all miniature portraits that benefit from careful variation within a generally propulsive structure."

Angry Ape: "the nine instrumentals and one vocal based track featured here have brought some much needed colour and warmth to these cold, unfeeling winter months."

Opuszine: "If there's perhaps one word that I can use to describe Cartaís music on The Glass Bottom Boat, it would be "pure". Whether it's the focus on honest-to-God songwriting (rather than simply trying to create set-ups for yet another epic, apocalyptic climax) or the lack of reliance on such things as guitar effects to communicate emotion, there's a sense of purity and simplicity, and of solid craftsmanship throughout the album."

Norman Records: "Moody and smoky it's an album for a hot bath as it builds with aural textures and shoegazy crescendos."

Cyclic Defrost: "an evocative work which is consistent across its hour duration and which has the chameleon ability to become the perfect soundtrack to any number of environments."

Foxy Digitalis: "The Glass Bottom Boat is still an excellent piece of (largely) instrumental music with deep layers of sound and complex arrangements. Carta gives the listener a lot of good reasons to take notice of their music and this album will no doubt continue to unfold with each visit."

Babysue: "Substantial and thoroughly rewarding, this is a beautiful album that will surely stand the test of time ... Very nice cerebral thought provoking stuff... (Rating: 5+)"

Black and White Mag (Canada): "This is a very meticulous debut, and the atmosphere it creates is gigantic. For fans of Below The Sea, Bark Psychosis, Charles Atlas and Coastal. 8.6"

Gaz-eta (Poland): "With each number, the band gathers strength that is subdued, and quietly thrilling. Let's hope more still persuasions are in the works from Carta."

Electronic Desert: "10 tracks long and yet another success for this consistent label."

Autres Directions (France)

Insonaciones (Mexico)

between two points (Japan)

kronic (Italy)

Kathodik (Italy)

caleidoscooop (Netherlands)


Bandwidth article on Carta from SFGate/Chronicle

A song of ours was featured on the NPR podcast "Open Mic" which you can still hear here