More about: Grace Tayler
Every once in a while, an artist comes along who, from the very first single, is almost fully formed. So it is with Grace Tayler, the young Brighton artist who shared her sparse, atmospheric debut song 'foolish man' this November.
The first in her debut streak of releases, it's a haunting, layered electronic and folky piece that's to be followed by more in the very near future. We caught up with her to find out what we can expect from her musical journey, where her inspirations come from, and what she got up to in lockdown.
Gigwise: Hi Grace! How are you?
Grace Tayler: I’m very well thank you!
GW: How has this year been for you? What did you get up to?
GT: This year has been very up and down. The pandemic meant that I couldn’t do a lot of the things I set out to do, but I am grateful for what it taught me. I went on a tattoo course and started painting more to fill my days in lockdown. I also wrote a lot of poems and new songs.
GW: ‘foolish man’ is a gorgeous introduction: what did the path to this first release look like?
GT: I wrote this song during the first lockdown. It was a particularly bad day and I remember feeling very lost. I’m very into tarot cards and decided to do a quick 3 card spread. I pulled the devil, the lovers and the foolish man. I felt compelled to create - so I went got my guitar and played the song pretty much as you hear it. I didn’t sit down and write the lyrics or play with the melody - the song just sort of presented itself to me.
GW: how did you decide to layer sparse soundscapes like that? It sounds so eerie and beautiful.
GT: I knew I wanted it to sound impactful and layered. Working with producer Chris J Priest and Greg Moss-Coomes, they helped lift it to the next level. We layered lots of backing vocals and counter melodies to create that eerie effect. I was very particular about the final mix of the song, I wanted it to be big, but still maintain softness and simplicity.
GW: What is the meaning behind this track?
GT: foolish man is my dance with fate. I am questioning if I can have control over my life, or if everything is already set out for me. ‘The devil carries the foolish man’ - the fool in tarot represents innocence and the devil your shadow self (and the more negative energies that can hold you back).
I ask myself if I am the foolish man, allowing myself to be controlled and contorted by the devil, making decisions that ultimately cause me to lose track of my own destiny...
GW: And your next track ‘if it was the end’ is coming out this week - what’s that one about?
GT: If it was the end was my confession of love to someone in my life, that is no longer in the picture. I wrote it at the beginning of the year, but it felt like now was a good time to release it.
Although 2020 has been incredibly difficult for everyone, I feel like it has taught me so much. I have come to accept the changes that are inevitable in life. This song is a nod to the past, just letting the people I lost know that I am letting go, but love will always be here in the end.
GW: What do you have planned for your music in the coming months?
So as of right now, I am in the process of beginning my EP which has lots of surprises and secrets that I am so excited about. I’m also going to do some live videos and hopefully lots more collaborations with other artists.
GW: How about years? Do you have long-term goals?
GT: This question terrifies me! I would love to say I know where I want to be in the next few years but with the current state of the world I just hope that myself and everyone are happy and healthy. I would love to go travelling, which was my plan for 2020. But the ultimate dream would be touring and recording more songs.
GW: Will you be performing live when it’s possible to again? Where would you like to play?
GT: I am planning on doing as many live shows as possible! I’d love to play at the EartH in Hackney: I saw Puma Blue play there once and I was mesmerised by him and the energy in that venue.
GW: How have tough times in your life informed your writing/music?
GT: I would say that tough times are the main inspiration for my songs. Someone once asked me why I don’t write happy songs. It took me a while to think about that, but for me, happiness is a simplistic emotion. Whereas when I’m sad or angry, it is multi dimensional and layered with different thoughts and feelings. Songwriting is the way I process my surroundings and internal world.
GW: Do you have any favourite artists from around you in the Brighton scene?
Recently I’ve been loving Lime and their new song 'Fever'. Gene Pool are also a favourite! I once supported them at a small gig in Brighton and definitely hope to play with them again.
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More about: Grace Tayler