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Maria Taylor — Something About Knowing

 Maria Taylor — Something About Knowing

Maria Taylor — Something About Knowing
♣  This is another solid if slightly too sweet album from Maria Taylor. She does what she does extremely well, but it would be nice to hear a bit of grit mixed in with the honey next time around. — John Murphy
♣  "A wonderfully warm presence.” — NPR
LP is pressed on beautiful translucent teal vinyl and is limited to 500 copies!
Born: May 21, 1976 in Birmingham, Alabama
She is: also a member of the duo Azure Ray with Orenda Fink
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Album release: October 29th, 2013
Record Label: Saddle Creek
Format: Colored Vinyl LP / CD
Product Code: ADAD-SAD-9117
Duration:     35:49
01. Folk Song Melody     (3:07)
02. Up All Night      (3:16)
03. Tunnel Vision      (4:44)
04. Sum Of Our Lives      (3:32)
05. You've Got A Way With The Light      (2:12)
06. Something About Knowing      (3:52)
07. This Is It      (4:26)
08. Broken Objects      (2:53)
09. Saturday In June      (3:54)
10. A Lullaby For You      (3:53)
2013 Saddle Creek                                                         Album Moods: Reflective Calm/Peaceful Earnest Gentle Melancholy Plaintive Soothing Lush Rousing Rustic Warm Wistful Delicate
Themes: The Great Outdoors Country Life Affection/Fondness Affirmation
Track 4 written by Taylor Thomas Macey Jr. / Mike Mogis / Macey Taylor
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 written by Maria Taylor
Track 5 written by Brad Armstrong / Maria Taylor
Track 8 written by Brad Armstrong
♣  Brad Armstrong  Banjo, Composer, Drum Programming, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Organ, Producer, Vocals
♣  Ryan Dwyer  Photography, Vocals (Background)
♣  Daniel Farris  Keyboards, Mixing, Omnichord, Producer
♣  Andy LeMaster  Mixing
♣  Taylor Thomas Macey Jr.  Composer
♣  Mike Mogis  Banjo, Composer, Drum Programming, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Guitars, Instrumentation, Keyboards, Mandolin, Mixing, Pedal Steel, Percussion, Producer, Programming, Vibraphone
♣  Lester Nuby III  Guitar (Electric), Mixing, Producer, Vocals
♣  Macey Taylor  Bass, Composer, Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Standup Bass, Vocals
♣  Maria Taylor  Composer, Drums, Guitar (Acoustic), Keyboards, Mellotron, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
♣  Jadon Ulrich  Layout
♣  Doug Van Sloun  Mastering
♣  "This record has the spirit of ‘This is how I feel now, and these are all the elements that brought me here,’” Maria explains. “I listened to my previous records and went in the studio wanting to take the best elements of each of them…I feel like I really conquered something on this one.”
♣  One of the most profound influences on Something About Knowing is the life-changing joy and newfound responsibility of being a first-time parent. “I worked on the album in bursts, when my son was napping,” Maria recalls. “Instead of taking a shower during those times, I’d run downstairs with the baby monitor and write and demo up songs.”
♣  The album beckons with the opening track “Folk Song Melody,” a mesmerizing acoustic-with-celestial-atmospherics track crafted around a wordless singsong passage that’s instantly familiar. “That section says everything without words and the rest of the record fills in the emotions,” she says. And the emotions brimming on Something About Knowing are bliss and contentment."  // Instruments: Vocals, Piano, Guitar, drums
In french:
♣  De l'indie pop folk assez sympa, a découvrir. Un remede possible contre la grisaille et la morosité ambiante.
♣  Maria Taylor brought her warm, casual vocals to several projects — most notably Azure Ray, a dreamy pop duo that featured Taylor and longtime partner Orenda Fink — before launching her own career as a solo singer/songwriter.
♣  Born in 1976 in Birmingham, Alabama, she got her start at age 15 as part of the Birmingham duo Little Red Rocket, a pop/rock group that garnered comparisons to Belly and Veruca Salt. After releasing 1997's Who Did You Pay and 2000's It's in the Sound as part of the Geffen Records roster, Little Red Rocket found themselves lost in the shuffle of Geffen's corporate merger with Universal Music Group. The group disbanded as a result, and Taylor relocated to Athens, Georgia alongside her bandmate Orenda Fink. Once established in their new home, the two regrouped as Azure Ray.
♣  With help from Conor Oberst's well-trained ear, the Saddle Creek band Now It's Overhead caught wind of Azure Ray's plaintive pop sound and asked the girls to join their band as well. As half of that group, Taylor and Fink signed to the Saddle Creek label while continuing to issue their Azure Ray projects via the independent Warm Recordings. In 2001, both Azure Ray and Now It's Overhead released scantly received self-titled debuts; a year later, Taylor and Fink took up full-time residence in Omaha and released Burn and Shiver, their second full-length project under the Azure Ray moniker. The pair's third effort, 2003's Hold on Love, found a warm reception from the indie scene on the merits of the singles "The Drinks We Drank Last Night" and "New Resolution." Fall Back Open, a Now It's Overhead set, was released in 2004 amid heavy touring, and Azure Ray disbanded that same year, with both members continuing to work together on various projects.
♣  Having paid her dues by singing backup for various albums by Moby, Bright Eyes, and Crooked Fingers, Taylor struck out on her own with 2005's 11:11. The solo debut found her mixing melancholy songs ("Birmingham 1982") with more upbeat material ("One for the Shareholder"), a combination that also owed a small debt to the carefully crafted music of Carole King and Laura Nyro. Two years later, Taylor's second solo record, Lynn Teeter Flower, featured more exploration of the 1970s singer/songwriter sound, while 2008's Savannah Drive featured her acoustic collaborations with Andy LeMaster. Maintaining her prolific pace, Taylor returned the following year with LadyLuck and began working on another Azure Ray album, Drawing Down the Moon, which appeared in 2010. Despite Azure Ray's reunion, both members continued working on their own material, too, and Taylor released her fourth album, Overlook, in 2011, followed by Something About Knowing in 2013. Taylor is the mother of Miles Taylor Dwyer, born in spring 2012.   ~ Tammy La Gorce
Website: http://www.mariataylormusic.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/mariataylor
Tumblr: http://mariataylor.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maria_taylor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyV_LIGZ2yw
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariataylor
Press: dayna@bigpicturemediaonline.com OR amber@bigpicturemedia.com
Agent: Eric Dimenstein, eric@groundcontroltouring.com
Label: http://saddle-creek.com/store/610
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/something-about-knowing/id703926795
♣  Since her early days with Azure Ray, Maria Taylor has been delivering some of the most beautiful folk-tinged, effect-laden balladeering around. That hasn’t changed on her latest solo record, Something About Knowing, but she’s also stretching into territories we haven’t heard from her before. She’s still sporting those soft, delicate, echoing vocals, but the songs on this record tend to be quirkier with stronger rhythms. We hear a range from her here as she tries on styles and sounds that aren’t strongly present in her earlier work, though she does still return to the full, blanketing, atmospheric vibe she’s favored in the past.
♣  Songs like “Folk Song Melody” are airier than expected for Taylor, with light guitar picking and even lighter melodies. It’s one of a set of songs on the album that fosters gentle toe-tapping, including the acoustic-driven “You’ve Got A Way With The Light” and the folk-tastic “Saturday In June.” First single “Up All Night” — an address to a small child that is the first clear sign that the record was written soon after Taylor became a mother — features a guitar fuzzy enough to be at home on a Black Keys album while “Tunnel Vision” features electronic effects and nearly danceable beats.
♣  Thematically this record exhibits similar levels of exploration of new territory while still maintaining a connection to past work. This singer-songwriter has always been a source of soothing, occasionally sad, reflection and that’s still apparent here though optimism is now closer to the surface. She opens “Broken Objects” mournfully singing, Seen a lot of broken objects / in a lot of broken towns before urging hope, crooning, Pay attention to the wind / be patient with the rain / be grateful for the sunshine beating down upon your face. Indeed, looking forward seems to be one of the album’s major themes, as on “Sum Of Our Lives” Taylor whispers above booming drum beats, A second chance at what we started / Break from the broken-hearted / We’re more than the sum of our lives. Cower at the face of regret / We want to be the ones who make it / We’re more than the sum of our lives. Whatever set of music footprints she happens to be following on a particular song these notes of resilience and looking-on-the-bright side constantly peak through and in some ways these undercurrents are more uplifting than outright happiness would have been.
♣  Of course no theme is more integral to this album than newfound motherhood. Happy songs are tough because they can easily fall into the trite and saccharin, but through Taylor’s textured vocals lines like, “I got you, I got me, I heard the sweetest voice call me Mommy” just come off incredibly adorable. Lines like, “All the stars, the moon, the sky / Flower, fields and butterflies / It’s not enough for you, love of mine” do not read great on paper, but when backed by sparse guitar work, the barely audible singing on “Lullaby For You” seem not only pretty, but also natural and achingly sweet.
♣  Overall Something About Knowing is a fun and charming effort; at times elegant and at times darling. It hits all the notes that Azure Ray and Maria Taylor fans will be looking for, but adds a dimension of touching warmth, and an expectation of brighter tomorrows that makes it one of the most heartfelt entries in her catalog. (http://allthingsgomusic.com/)
By John Murphy | 7 November 2013 | Score: ***
:: http://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/maria-taylor-something-knowing
BY MICHAEL JAMES HALL | 28 OCTOBER 2013 | Score: 5/10
:: http://thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/albums/maria-taylor-something-about-knowing-140185
By Brian Palmer | October 30, 2013 | Score: ******
By Cody Endres |  
:: http://www.shakefire.com/review/maria-taylor-something-about-knowing
By James Christopher Monger | Score: ***½

:: http://www.allmusic.com/album/something-about-knowing-mw0002577986
Albums with Azure Ray:
♣  Azure Ray (2001, WARM)
♣  Sleep EP (WARM, 2002)
♣  Burn and Shiver (2002, WARM)
♣  November EP (Saddle Creek, 2002)
♣  Hold On Love (2003, Saddle Creek)
♣  The Drinks We Drank Last Night (Saddle Creek, 2003)
♣  New Resolution (Saddle Creek, 2004)
♣  Drawing Down the Moon (Saddle Creek, 2010)
♣  11:11 (2005)
♣  Lynn Teeter Flower (2007)
♣  Savannah Drive (with Andy LeMaster) (2008)
♣  LadyLuck (2009)
♣  Overlook (2011)
♣  Something About Knowing (2013)
♣  Lagniappe: A Saddle Creek Benefit for Hurricane Katrina Relief (Saddle Creek, 2005)

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