As Boy Scouts, Oakland-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Vick makes the kind of music that hits like good advice from a beloved friend. It's generously warm and inviting, built atop her open, searching voice, but it doesn't shy away from tough emotional truths.
Vick's songs survey the damage that can come from loving other people with curiosity and grace. Her new album, Free Company – her first for ANTI- Records - is her most vital and incisive work yet, a stunningly tuneful rumination on heartbreak and loss that is always galloping toward the horizon.
The album’s opener, "Get Well Soon" reckons with the difficult epiphany that comes when you've worked overtime to help someone you love, only to realize they won't meet you in the middle and help themselves. "It's a hard thing to say. You're hoping somebody will eventually feel better, but there's also this weird new distance between you. You can't do anything else, but you still really hope that they're OK," Vick says.
Her tightest and most cohesive collection of songs, Vick recorded Free Company in a tiny studio her friend Stephen Steinbrink set up inside a rented shipping container--a unique spot that ended up being perfect for her. "It's a windowless little room, but that made me feel really comfortable," she says. "We did it in the comfort of a weird, atypical recording space."
Steinbrink plays drums, synth, and bass throughout the record in addition to singing backup. It was the first time Vick had opened up her recording process to someone besides herself, and the inclusion of her friends (Rose Droll, Nikolas Soelter, and Chase Kamp also contributed to the album) helped her polish Boy Scouts' indie pop sound to a sparkle.
With a keen ear for melody and a palpable sense of empathy, Vick picks apart all the confusing and contradictory ways that people glance off of each other while moving through their lives. Her music is an invitation to shake off the weight that's been dragging you down, to lighten your step and keep moving forward no matter what lies ahead.