Maria Taylor’s Something About Knowing beckons with the opening track “Folk Song Melody,” a mesmerizing acoustic-with-celestial-atmospherics composition crafted around a wordless singsong passage that’s instantly familiar. “That section says everything without words and the rest of the record fills in the emotions,” she says. And the emotions brimming on the album are bliss and contentment. On the title track, with a molasses flow, Maria names her blessings from the diurnal to the divine. Here she sings: “I got you/I got me/I heard the sweetest voice call me mommy/got my old 5 string/I’ve got everything.” The music is balmy with a sweetly swaying groove, angelic backup vocals, gospel organs, and a shooting star guitar melody. The stunning “Tunnel Vision” is expansive and chiming pop with a lose-yourself-on-the-dance-floor beat.
Something About Knowing’s spirit of “coming home with confidence” extends from Maria’s personal and artistic peacefulness to the team she picked to surround herself with while making this album. She enlisted producer Mike Mogis, an essential creative foil on her first two records. Her brother Macey Taylor played bass on every song as well as keyboards and piano. And her old high school music pal Brad Armstrong co-wrote, played on, and recorded two tracks in his garage. “There we were back in his garage, only now we both had kids running around, it was really special,” Maria says. Longtime friend and collaborator Andy LeMaster mixed these two songs. Additionally, Maria recorded the track “This Is It” with Lester Nuby, and Daniel Farris—two trusted companions she worked with on her last two records—at home in Birmingham, Alabama.
Maria Taylor has released four solo albums and an EP, and has been lauded for her collaborations with artists such as Bright Eyes, Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Moby, David Barbe (Sugar, Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt), and Crooked Fingers.
PJ Bond is a wandering songster who has traversed the American and European landscapes more times than he can easily count. He got his start over ten years ago in what was then called the DIY Indie scene, back when musicians still made money on CDs and people spent a lot of their time trying to get signed. A decade later, Bond's lyrically dark but otherwise upbeat songs span from introspective Americana to reverb-laden rock from an earlier era. If forced to draw parallels and speak of influences, one might say he has drawn from the likes of Wilco and Elliott Smith, though he might prefer to credit Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan these days. When not traveling the globe, PJ splits his time between Brooklyn, NY and Asheville, NC, a small geographical fact that is nevertheless telling of the different musical threads he uses to weave his musical fabric.
The Ian Fays
The Ian Fays are composed of Lizzie and Sara Fay (two dark haired twins), their older sister Lena (also dark-haired) and, the newest addition, their brother-in- law, Samuele (curly dark-hair).
In June 2013, the Fays began recording their fourth full-length album entitled “The Most Spectacular Party” at Jackpot! recording studio in Portland, Oregon. At Jackpot! the band formed a kindred-spirit bond with their recording engineer, Kendra Lynn (engineer of artists such as Eddie Vedder, She & Him, Spoon, and The Breeders). Kendra helped the Fays capture a sound they had been striving for, layered with instruments they had only dabbled with before: slide guitar, low end organ creations, drums, sitar, and trumpet. These instruments, combined with lyrics collected over the past few years, fused to create a new sound the band is very excited about.
“The Most Spectacular Party” is out now on We Were Never Being Boring. The release will be followed by an Italian tour in late December and a U.S. tour in Spring 2014.