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JFH Music Review


Gileah Taylor, 'Slow Parade'
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Gileah Taylor
Slow Parade



Genre(s): Indie / Folk / Americana
Album length: 10 tracks: 39 minutes, 4 seconds
Street Date: April 26, 2024


READER RATING:   


The name of Florida songstress Gileah Taylor might not be immediately familiar, but just a few moments hearing her unassuming lilt will instantly identify her to fans of the recent releases of indie label Velvet Blue Music as the voice of Leem of Earth, a delightful alt-rock project that released three EPs, compiled them as a self-titled full-length that was one of the best releases of 2022, and then released two more great singles in 2023 before calling it quits. Gileah's solo music discards the electric guitar based alternative sound of Leem of Earth for a less noisy, more sparse sound that puts her vocally front and center, and that sound on new VBM release Slow Parade is one of the best musical treats of 2024 to date.

To be sure, there is much more going on here than simple minimalism. Just the first track alone, "My Vision Is Coming Back," creates a foundation on a light piano bed and then builds musically until it ends with strings in one ear and a light dobro in the other. Second track "Still Here" continues in the same Americana vein; a smooth groove with a bit of twang and even the light touches of an organ. The music can be sometimes catchy, sometimes melancholy, sometimes wistful, sometimes sinister, sometimes all of the above in just a single song's chord progression.

Because Gileah's soft and unpretentious voice isn't really a traditionally powerful one, the most vocal-centric tracks tend to leave the least impact, such as "Watch the World Waking" or "Nobody Spoke My Language." But there are so many incredible musical moments with interesting chord changes and exceptionally mixed and varied instrumentation -- from the brilliant building confidence of "Way Out" (the second half of which is the closest the album really gets to a rock moment) to the contemplative jazzy nostalgia of "Summer Jubilee," which reminds the listener of the best vocal work of Leigh Nash. Each listen identifies new flourishes to appreciate in the music, most of which is provided by producer brothers Gabe & Gideon Klein (Gileah herself is credited with piano on two songs and acoustic guitar on two others).

The organic, smooth feel of the entire album harkens back to classic mid-1900s jazz, as updated and evolved through singers like Norah Jones, whose classic early works feel like the most apt comparison (and I mean that as the highest compliment possible). Gileah Taylor's voice has delighted in the swirling alt rock of Leem of Earth, and now continues to delight in a different way with these ten songs, all solely credited to her as songwriter, in yet another home run release by Velvet Blue Music that is probable to be found on many year-end top ten lists.

- Review date: 6/3/24, written by Evan Dickens of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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. Record Label: Velvet Blue Music
. Album length: 10 tracks: 39 minutes, 4 seconds
. Street Date: April 26, 2024
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: Bandcamp (CD)
. Buy It: Bandcamp (Cassette)
. Buy It: Bandcamp (Vinyl)
. Buy It: Amazon Music (MP3)

  1. My Vision is Coming Back (3:52)
  2. Still Here (3:06)
  3. Watch the World Waking (3:32)
  4. Way Out (4:56)
  5. Roll Over Me (3:09)
  6. Summer Jubilee (3:47)
  7. Dream Explorer (2:44)
  8. You Have Been Here, Too (6:04)
  9. Nobody Spoke My Language (4:12)
  10. Sweetness Surrounding (3:43)

 

 



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