See Vanessa Carlton Dance Through “The Only Way To Love” Music Video

Next month, Vanessa Carlton will release her new album, Love Is An Art. Following her single “Future Pain” and a live debut of “I Know You Don’t Mean It,” Vanessa has shared the music video for her official lead single,  “The Only Way To Love.”

“The Only Way To Love” starts instantly, Vanessa’s echoing voice crooning softly over buzzing guitar. For some fans, it may immediately sound familiar. Indeed, Vanessa shared a clip of the song a while back before we even knew what it was. Drums come in on the pre-chorus, foreshadowing what’s coming next. The chorus amplifies into a bigger sound, pounding drums strengthening Vanessa’s message. As with “Future Pain,” “The Only Way To Love” offers that big punch we haven’t heard much since Heroes & Thieves. It sounds different now – more acoustic and introspective, like her last two records – but still powerful.

The music video, premiered earlier today on Billboard, takes us to an empty auditorium. Vanessa sits alone in the theater seats before moving up to the stage. There, she dances as if no one’s watching, under the spotlight until shades of red and blue illuminate her anew. It’s a simple but effective visual, and it recalls the video for her 2004 single, “White Houses,” which highlighted her background in ballet.

Vanessa spoke to Billboard about the video, describing it as “a visual meditation on the push and pull of fear and courage within our minds.” She continued:

The dancing is a physical manifestation of this woman’s emotions inside her head. The journey of love is beautiful, brutal, joyful, peaceful…so many chapters. And it only works if you let go of fear. That is her struggle. Until she finally lets go.

Watch the music video for “The Only Way To Love” below:

You can stream or download “The Only Way To Love” from all the main music providers here. Along with “Future Pain,” it will appear on Vanessa’s upcoming album, Love Is An Art, out March 27th. Pre-order the album here now.

Love Is An Art Tracklisting

In December, we reported on 12 new Vanessa Carlton songs that had registered online. It turns out, all 12 of those songs will appear on the new album. See the full tracklisting for Love Is An Art:

  1. I Can’t Stay The Same
  2. Companion Star
  3. I Know You Don’t Mean It
  4. Die Dinosaur
  5. Love Is An Art
  6. Future Pain
  7. Back To Life
  8. Patience
  9. The Only Way To Love
  10. Salesman
  11. Miner’s Canary
  12. Break To Save [Bonus Track]

In a recent interview with Blueberry Hill, we get to hear a bit more about some of the songs. “Die, Dinosaur” was written after the shootings in Parkland, Florida and is about “the children who fill the world with love and grace while politicians fill their pockets.” “Miner’s Canary” is a confessional song about “reckoning with toxic relationships.” Meanwhile, “Companion Star” focuses on relationships that last forever. “I Can’t Stay the Same,” on the other hand, describes “the relationship with the person staring back at us in the mirror, each and every morning.”

In addition to the two new singles, fans can already get a taste of three other songs. Last May, when Vanessa announced that Love Is An Art was mastered and ready for release, she also shared snippets of the upcoming title track and “Patience.” Vanessa first played “Love Is An Art” in March 2017. Fans may also remember “Patience”; Vanessa uploaded a 1-minute recording of the song to SoundCloud way back in 2012. It’s exciting that we finally get to hear a proper recording of the song!

Most recently, Vanessa debuted another new song live. She performed “I Know You Don’t Mean It” live for Paste Magazine two weeks ago.

The album’s songs were partially inspired by philosopher Erich Fromm’s 1956 book, The Art of Loving. Vanessa co-wrote all the songs with singer-songwriter Tristen. Dave Fridmann served as producer on the album.

Upcoming Tour

In support of the new album, Vanessa is about to go on tour. And extra exciting news: This will be the first time in a decade that she tours and performs with a full band. Yes, we’ll finally get to hear the songs as big as ever this tour!

Leg 1 of the tour will kick off on April 2nd in St. Louis and end on April 25th in Nashville. Leg 2 starts in New Orleans on May 27th and will extend through the American south and west coast before finishing in Kansas City on June 21st.

Find all dates and buy tickets here.

More Vanessa Carlton News

Revisiting Vanessa’s Work

Vanessa Carlton’s last album, Liberman, came out in fall 2015. It launched stunning singles like “Blue Pool,”“Operator,” “House Of Seven Swords,” and “Nothing Where Something Used To Be.” Since then, Vanessa also released a few special albums and EPs. We got Liberman Live in 2016, followed by the Earlier Things Live EP in 2017. Then in 2018, Vanessa released six covers; you can now get them all in one package on vinyl.

Last year, Vanessa Carlton also moved into exciting new territory: Broadway! From June 27th through September 1st, Vanessa played Carole King in the Broadway musicalBeautiful – The Carole King Musical. Will musical theater continue to play a role in Vanessa’s future or influence her own music?


Love Is An Art is due out on March 27th. Get excited for the 12 new songs we now know about, and enjoy the new music video for “The Only Way To Love.” Be sure to also listen to “Future Pain” while we wait, too. Catch up on all we know about the album so far here. As always, keep checking back here for all the latest Vanessa Carlton music news.

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