2013 - Sean Taylor Songs
By Phillip Smith; April 12, 2014
London-based singer-songwriter Sean Taylor’s sixth and latest album, Chase the Night, is quite the masterpiece. This is some of the most unique and fascinating new music I have heard in a while. Using blues and roots music to deliver intelligently crafted lyrics that sound like lost verses of beat poetry that fell out of a Kerouac book, Taylor has skillfully assembled an album which I find becomes more interesting with each subsequent listen. Backing Taylor on all songs is Mark Hallman, tackling whatever instrument is thrown his way and flawlessly, I might add. The album was recorded at Congress House Studios in Austin, TX.
Taylor has this fantastic ability to pour his emotions into his music. Take “Losing You” for example, a bluegrassy song about lost love and self-blame. Even after admitting his infidelities, the listener still is left with a soft spot in their heart for him, as he sings, “I know I’m losing you, I don’t wanna believe it’s true.” I love the violin Warren Hood adds to the song as well as the electric slide guitar, provided by Andre Moron. “So Fine”, with sultry vocals by Stephanie Daulong, reminds me a small bit of Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky”. Interestingly unfolding the similarities of sex and drugs, this song slowly and beautifully increases the tempo, building up a musical tension that is released via a furiously chaotic climax.
“Biddy Mulligans”, about watching the world through the bottom of a shot glass, seems to draw inspiration from the works of Charles Bukowski. There is definitely a little inspiration from Tom Waits hanging out in this song as well, sans the gravelly voice. This is beautifully played, with Taylor on both piano and guitar, Hood on violin, and Hallman taking on the bass.
I absolutely love “River”, with its trance-inducing rhythm, fuzzy guitar, and beat poetry lyrics. Like a Jim Morrison who’s more interested in being a Londoner, than being the Lizard-king, Taylor keeps the verses freely flowing.
This is the first album of Taylor’s I have heard, and after just a few listens, it landed at the top of my favorites for the year. Also, knowing he has five other albums out there to listen to, while I wait for the next one to come out, puts a smile on my face. Chase the Night is definitely a keeper.