Samuel James Taylor released Wild Tales And Broken Hearts on October 21st. You can’t help but look favourably on an album by a man who a) adds Samuel so he doesn’t appear cocky in the folk world b) has been in the music business for twenty years getting support from Radio 2 DJ’s and being picked to play with his band as a Glastonbury Emerging Talent and c) has “run away into the sunset with a circus queen”, travelling the world and returning to the quiet English countryside.
Why the focus on the background rather than the album? It led Taylor to a period of reflection, of nearly giving up music. “I couldn’t find myself in my music for the first time in my life”. But he played live again, wrote songs, listened to the music that first inspired him (Dylan, Beatles, Springsteen, Cohen, Simon, King, Taylor), and created an album. “I knew it was time to get back in the studio again and I knew exactly how I wanted to make the record”.
The resulting album, Wild Tales And Broken Hearts, is largely what you’d expect from that life story and influences. Gentle, elements of introspection – but there’s probably more on the album which has been taken from the melodic energy of Springsteen, Carole King and the Beatles than from the slower, thoughtful strains of Cohen and Taylor. You can hear for yourself on the link below to ‘Virginia Girl’. ‘Rolling Thunder’ and the title track are similarly up tempo, nicely produced, get-you-going songs.
Of the slower tracks, ‘Rage And Fight’ is rather good with a nice play on words that, for me, contrast the anticipated anger that I expected from the song title, with the lyric “I’m going to rage and fight/ Fight for love, fight for you, fight for us/My girl you’re everything/You’re the light that shines, the moon, the night, the birds that sing”. Rather nice. ‘I Kissed Your Sister By The Apple Tree’ is similarly witty, plaintive and delightful “A kiss in the moment at a quarter to three…. I’ll be in the garden, just keep your eyes on me”.
Taylor Is from Sheffield and his Facebook page tells you that you can join him for an album launch event on October 26th in the Dorothy Pax in the city. If I wasn’t already booked for a gig an hour away I’d want to be there.
Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com/thisissamueljamestaylor
‘Virginia Girl’ – live: