Cynicism has always been in singer-songwriter Elliot Taylor’s blood. As a child growing up in Northern England, he supposedly told his parents that he thought “we were all part of a big computer game.” It figures that Taylor would go on to graduate with a degree in philosophy at a Scottish university, after which he quickly realized that “philosophy has no answers.”
So, with childhood dreams of becoming Led Zeppelin in mind, Taylor took to a different discipline in search of truth: music.
Turns out Boston was exactly the right city for Taylor to land in—and not just because of the cynical, hard-as-nails Bostonian mentality that resembles his own. (Within his first day of moving here, he was “told to fuck off, asked to grab a pint, and mocked for his accent.”) Taylor got involved in the local music community through Emerging Boston Area Singer-Songwriters (EBASS)—a group that connects and provides opportunities for emerging Boston-based musicians—and began writing and performing music as the frontman of alternative rock band Truth of a Lyre.
With the start of 2017, however, Taylor dropped the moniker in favor of taking a more solo approach—“maybe because finding a whole band that I like is a real pain in the arse,” he joked. In reality, Taylor’s just getting back to his roots as an artist. His raspy, at times delicate, vocals remain the centerpiece of his work, but now he’s taking us even deeper into the witty nooks and crannies of his mind. Driven by lyrics, Elliot Taylor’s new music is deeply personal, stripped of frill, and as he described it, like “a two-dollar hooker you fall in love with.”
In the song “Devil’s Wine,” which he said he wrote in half an hour, Taylor ruminates on recent world events and the resulting sense of helplessness. (“When did all the humans forget about humanity / Lose all sense and sanity?”) His voice undulates with the mood of the prose and builds in grit as the song progresses; by the end, it’s flushed red with indignation and despair.
Watch Taylor perform “Devil’s Wine” at Sofar Sounds New York here:
Expect a lot more from Taylor in the coming year. Currently in the studio, the singer-songwriter plans to release new music throughout the spring and to bring his tunes to a few New England stages before then. You can catch him at a secret show this month in Boston and at Sofar Sounds New York on Jan. 21 and Feb. 4.
To learn more about his upcoming secret shows and listen to new releases, visit elliottaylormusic.com.