Sunday, June 12, 2016

Gileah Taylor - "Songs For A Late Night Vol. 2" Is A Stunningly Beautiful Sci-Fi Inspired Album (review and stream)

Gileah Taylor's latest album "Songs For A Late Night Vol. 2" opens with the song Alec. Gileahs voice opens alone, stark and intimate so much so that you get the sense that the compelling vulnerable performance will be only her and then you get the slightest hint of a sound, a drone that turns into the recognizable deep swell of organs, church organs. The wash of sound overtakes her vocals and become larger stronger until they clip off to reveal Gileah's voice naked again.

It is an incredibly engaging beginning. Listen with headphones in a quiet place and you will find goosebumps scatter on your arms. The next track Tears Of A Spirit pulses with such a dreaminess undertow (although the song has beautiful pop hooks throughout) that early on you get the feeling that this entire album will be a decidedly dreamy ethereal experience.

Gileah says the album is sci-fi inspired and lyrically driven by not only her experiences but her interest in the writer and poet George MacDonald in fact the track If I Was is attributed to his novel Sir Gibbie.  If I Was is folk and dreams stirred up with an almost light glamish underbelly. A wonderful rich dynamic track with some melodies that somehow made me think of that kind of suburban 50's white picket fence pop music. Also a strong whimsical sense which made me feel like this was a kind of blend of Sea Of Bees (Julie Baenziger) and Flo and the Machine. I got a touch of Sea of Bees in Happiness Hill too. When Gileah hits those tender high notes you can feel your heart develop a hard crush. Kudos to the kind of outro production wise.

It's An Art continues the dream but when it a couple of minutes in the electric guitar ruminates on this delicious run and the drums kick in that song becomes something else. Still dreamy but with these rock chops it feels like dream theater. Very cool. I could of taken a build up that was 3 time longer and larger. You can feel the sci-fi heart on John Of The Four Track Heart. Gileah's voice may have a synth-ish filter (just a bit) in spots that lends itself even more to feel like some kind of post industrial future. It is very cool and kind of made me think of 80's Georgia Moroder and Bowie even in terms of looking to the stars.

I'll Be A Mountain and Going Home feel like they will span folk and country and pop audiences all at once.  They might be the most accessible in that sense, have the widest reach but, in truth, feel a bit safer, more commonly wrought or derivative than the other songs on this album. Feel less dreamy and thus feel a wee bit out of place with the other tracks. They are on their own beautiful songs though. Only One is a sultry slow burn that eventually erupts into a dark tortured love song. I could hear this in a Bond movie.

The last track on "Songs For A Late Night Vol. 2" is the Other Side. The melody stays steady then chases itself as Gileah's vocals and acoustic guitar lines mirror each other. This song reinforces what you discover during all the songs that Gileah's voice is not only beautiful but holds so much emotion in it's lilt. As the beauty of the acoustic guitar and her voice end, pearly orchestration gives way to those amazing Church organs and the result shifts the ballad into full on dreamland of Donnie Darko proportions. Such a great deeply moving end to what is ostensibly a stunningly beautiful album.
Robb Donker

(Note: "Songs For A Late Night Vol. 2" is available on Vinyl as well as Itunes, Bandcamp and Amazon)

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