Music Review: Songs For Late At Night Vol. 2
I am all for discovering new music. So when Florida artist, Gileah Taylor's latest album showed up in my inbox I was both excited and fearful. Giving her older stuff a quick listen, I felt confident that Songs For Late At Night Vol. 2 was something I would enjoy. Taylor's voice is smooth as silk. The music is spacious and perfectly suited for late night writing. The songwriting itself displays a maturity that comes only with much experience and practice.
The opening track, "Alec," reminds me of Emmylou Harris-style space folk. The cacophony ending sets the perfect tenor for an evening album and demonstrates the wide range Taylor's songs present within themselves. "Tears of a Spirit" is a moving vocal track that provides a similar arching story not only lyrically but within the musical styling as well.
While retaining the space-like elements, "If I Was" provides a pleasant combination of wistful verses and electrically driven refrains. The ebb and flow within the song creates a moving story on its own. "Happiness Hill" takes the wistful theme and creates a slow ballad that displays Taylor's spectacular vocal and lyrical stylings — bearing a resemblance to the music of Eisley and Azure Ray.
"It's An Art" is a deceptive track. The beginning is whimsically piano driven and solid with a Death Cab for Cutie/Transcendentalism feel to it. The conclusion has a driven electrical guitar and drum set that ramps the album up to "Alec" levels. Taylor's voice gets overshadowed mildly in the conclusion of the track. Though I enjoy the musical experience (this may be my favorite track), I can't help but wish for more from the concluding minute of the track.
"John of the Four Track Heart" is pretty and perfectly encapsulates the "late at night" theme. The space guitar, piano, and concluding harpsichord (?) are at the peak after the sun has gone down.
Now I must confess that I lied — "I'll be a Mountain" is by far my favorite track. The slow deliberate enunciation of each word layers beautifully over the guitar and looping (electric guitar?). Everything about the track is delightful.
"Going Home" and "The Other Side" have a feeling of finality to them. The later though truly ends the album and does so perfectly with a spacious "dream" sequence that ties every track together. Crammed between the two is "Only One" — my love-hate song. It is a very good song. But the darkness of it strikes a strange chord at this point of the album. This minor quibble aside, I think "Only One" is possibly the strongest and most sobering song on Songs for Late at Night Vol. 2.
In conclusion, Gileah Taylor has written the album for listening while I work and write. I enjoy turning it on and letting the music pull and drive me through its story. This album should find itself in the running for my favorite of 2016.