Though often referred to as half of the duo Azure Ray and 1/4 of Saddle Creek’s Now It’s Overhead, Maria Taylor’s talents have seen her name attached to an impressive roster of musicians. She’s popped up on Crooked Fingers’ Bring on the Snakes, Bright Eyes’ Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, and Moby’s 18 (yes, that Moby). Her distinctive, luminous vocals provide a unifying thread through such unlikely releases as The Bruces’ Shining Path (2004), The Faint’s Wet From Birth (2004), and Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (2005).
Maria doesn't scream her angst or snarl out her problems. She doesn't warble melismas with the glut of high-strung chart divas. With understated grace and aplomb, she writes the sort of classic, sad songs once favored by the first ladies of American songwriting. Her soulful melodies and honeyed vocals conjure those leaked from radios on nights we fell asleep in the backseats of our parents’ cars. Without leaning on nostalgia, Maria’s first solo full-length, 11:11, evokes the artistry of greats like Carole King, Laura Nyro and Rickie Lee Jones while it spans the spectrum from acoustic folk to electronic dream pop.
11:11’s all-star cast features the talents of Cursive’s Gretta Cohn, Now It’s Overhead’s Andy LeMaster, and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis. LeMaster and Mogis each lent his talents to the recording, production, and engineering of the record, as well, resulting in an album that sets Maria’s compositions awash in an ethereal, melancholic glow.