Sean Taylor has been making music for 20 years now, and with his latest release, Short Stories, shows that he’s at the top of his game. Sean is a troubadour, normally playing over 100 live shows a year across the UK and abroad and picking up awards along the way. That gives him an enormous range of experience which sums up Short Stories. Wide in its sweep, and with Sean refusing to be categorised beyond roots, he bring his experiences of life and being on the road to bear with a ability to hit the mark no matter where he aims.
‘Open Your Heart To Love’ is a good example of this, being inspired by conversations he’s had on the road with different people in different places. It has a theme running through it of loneliness and isolation being replaced by love, but that only happens if you’re willing to open up. It’s a gentle song with Sean’s rather gravelly voice supported by pedal steel, electric guitar and percussion to give a slightly blues feel.
‘Mona Lisa’, on the other hand is proper rock ‘n roll with Sean providing a zinging piano that Jerry Lee Lewis would have been proud of and a wailing harmonica. This song flies along, albeit with a strange back story. It’s based on the Mona Lisa and the effect it’s had on people from Napoleon Bonaparte to Picasso, who was accused of stealing it at one point. It’s a great track; one you’ll be hard pushed to sit still to.
Just two tracks described and already Short Stories is clearly defying conventions and categories, which is what makes so interesting; you never know what to expect next.
‘Snowdonia’ is a gentle, lyrical piece with a wonderful sense of place and space. At it’s heart is a wild swim in Lake Snowdon in February. I imagine it certainly did cleanse the mind and electrify the soul. There’s a sweep to this song that captures a wild and open place that will inspire a city boy.
Gravestones’ is a fascinating song. With a bluesy style it considers the explosion in fake news, false news and uncertainty of both the internet age and the Covid pandemic. “If you read it on-line it has to be true” with a very telling chorus:
“Gravestone say I did my own research
Everybody is an expert until they are buried in the dirt”
As well as the Sean’s vocal and musical expertise he brought together a wonderful set of musicians to fill out the sound including, but not limited to, Mike Seal, Basia Bartz and Ben Walker who also produced the album. Quality flows through it like a river.
Short Stories has a release date of 18th August, but you can obtain a pre-release copy now and the download version will be available later in the summer.
Artist’s website: https://www.seantaylorsongs.com/
‘Happy Days’ – officially live: