In a heartfelt interview with Lily Taylor, an exceptionally talented indie musician, we delve into her inspiring journey and the creative forces that drive her music. From her spiritual experiences on renowned stages to her innovative sound and approach, Lily Taylor’s passion for music shines through in every word she shares.
Lily Taylor’s journey as an indie musician has been a captivating odyssey of spiritual connection through music and performance. From iconic venues like the Rickshaw Stop and The Stud in San Francisco to The Kessler in Dallas and the House of Blues Foundation Room in Los Angeles, she has experienced profound moments of transcendence. These diverse settings, including house shows and underground art spaces, have shaped her understanding of music as a sacred ritual, a conduit for sharing and connecting with others on a profound level.
However, her unique style and sound as an artist set her apart from others in the industry. Her latest release, “Amphora” (July 2023), has been described as ambient pop, avant-pop, and experimental pop. While she embraces the familiar verse/chorus structure, she fearlessly pushes boundaries in terms of form, sound textures, and storytelling. Each track on the album stands out as a distinct piece, yet they are all united by her captivating vocals. Lily Taylor’s commitment to embracing her personal quirks and traits truly makes her an artist to watch.
Through her ongoing journey as an indie musician, she endeavors to touch hearts, inspire others, and forge a path of musical authenticity. We eagerly anticipate the release of “Amphora” and the continued evolution of Lily Taylor’s artistry. Check out the interview beneath.
Can you tell us about your journey as an indie musician? What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Singing is something that I have to do, I’m compelled. I’ve had truly spiritual experiences through music and performance on stages like the Rickshaw Stop or The Stud in San Francisco, The Kessler in Dallas, or the House of Blues, Foundation Room in Los Angeles, in addition to house shows and underground art spaces. The stories of my music career are varied and winding, but all follow the same principle that the ritual of sharing music with others can be a sacred experience. My last album is called The Ride and this upcoming album is called Amphora, both available on vinyl and showcase the songs I’ve been writing and working on over the years performing at traditional and non-traditional spaces.
How would you describe your unique style and sound as an artist? What sets you apart from other musicians?
The style of music on my latest release, Amphora (July 2023) has been described as ambient pop, avant pop, and experimental pop. There is a familiar verse / chorus structure, but I try to push the boundaries a little bit with form, sound textures aka timbres, and storytelling. Each track is distinctly its own, yet all vocally driven. I think it’s important to lean into the personal quirks and traits that make us unique, so I attempt to do that as an artist.
Could you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an indie musician and how you overcame them?
Perseverance. When the equipment fails, keep the show going. Every submission rejection is an opportunity to get your name in front of new people. Play your best at the gig, even to an empty room, you never know who is bartending or running sound-tech or where they might work in the future. Being able to reassess your successes at any given moment in time to keep the momentum moving forward, cause *stuff* inevitably happens.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach songwriting and composing music?
The songs on Amphora were composed in different ways. “Slow” for example was originally written on guitar, which I do not play, but was messing around on one. I later adapted the guitar part for keys. “Cliff” and “J&Js” started as improvisational soundscapes that turned into fully formed written pieces. “Kepler Wells” and “Ever New” were written by both Black Taffy and myself, with the music composed by Black Taffy, and the melody and lyrics by me. “My Baby” was arranged by Black Taffy from a song I used to perform in burlesque and drag shows in the Bay Area with my looping pedal, just to name a few songs from the album.
Are there any particular themes or messages that you aim to convey through your music? What inspires your lyrics?
The theme of duality came up quite a bit in these tracks. The inspiration for my lyrics come from different places, I try to write down lyrics all the time in case there is good cause to use them. The last track on the album is “Peace There”, which I hope conveys a message of understanding that we are all human, and not just the roles we play in life and society. “I won’t always play the part that was expected from the start, but into my arms you’ll find peace there”.
What are your long-term goals as an indie musician? Where do you see yourself and your music in the next few years?
I plan to continue performing and recording. I also enjoy taking the workshops offered online through the California Jazz Conservatory. I hope that my album will gain a wider audience and that I am able to connect with more and more opportunities. Thank you for this opportunity to answer these questions and be able to reach a broader audience with my story and music. All the best, LT