maria taylor

There’s a press release attached here that takes longer to digest than the record itself, it tells a tale of an artist maturing through the years working along the way with a roll call of musicians that reads like a pop aristocracy who’s who listing that draws from differing sonic worlds – Moby, Stipe, Bright Eyes. An ever present on the Saddle Creek roster coming to prominence by way of dream poppers Azure Ray to form an enviable partnership with Orenda Fink, Maria Taylor has in recent years applied her talents to chiselling out an acclaimed solo career. Described in passing as her ‘most assure record to date’ following the birth of her son, these press folk you suspect are playing things down for ’something about knowing’ is a rewarding listening treat that breezes through with such sweet seduction that’s it over before you’ve had a chance to close your jaw dropped mouth. A collection of secret love notes peppered and turned in a multi textured phrasing of drifting folk motifs and spectral electronica that grabs and holds you fixed in its alluring gaze, takes just one brief earshot of ’sum of our lives’ to give hint of the Technicolor rush of sound and emotion that oozes from these finite grooves, here serviced in amorphous orbital tides and demurely arrested by the airy cortege of dream dipped ethereal chorals sighing lunar murmurs. Rich pickings for airplay, ’tunnel vision’ shimmies in a free flowing pop velour richly immersed in the kind of hushed surrendering melodic symmetry of a cosmically hazed Belinda Carlisle / Cyndi Lauper smothered in lush 80’s panoramic motifs and dropped dreamily into the beautified hinterlands of Kate Bush’s ’hounds of love’ only to be dutifully rephrased through the impish viewfinder of Grimes. Likewise title track ‘something about knowing’ has that crooked ear candy lull that’s off centred with an attractively wonky hook that should assure repeat play list love, mind you we here are a tad smitten with ‘up all night’ with its bubble grooved 50’s country pop signifiers sign written in the free flowing glow of a twinkling Patsy Cline cutie festooned with sly handed kicks and the kind of cheery prairie flightiness that’s set to lilt. The country styled song craft is a recurring theme here for the mellowing prairie lilt of ‘you got a way with the light’ is sumptuously hushed and honey glowed in the kind of sighing genteel swoon of Laura Cantrell. Those preferring sounds draped in sepia and enchantment will do well to catch upon ‘a lullaby for you’ which is just as it says on the tin, all star crushed, sleepy headed and angelic though superbly unhinged by a fleeting visitation of wiring kaleidoscopia which ought to have you visibly unsettled with one eye peeping open watching the lengthening shadows stretching beyond the bed. And while all around might be readily equipped high end ear candy I’m personally taken by the lazily dazed ’broke objects’ as it aches with an introspective hymnal thoughtfulness into a shyly adoring dusting of snow falling sweetness of the type occasioning pop platters inscribed with the name Hafdis Huld.

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