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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Julian Taylor Drops New Single 'Seeds (Acoustic) Featuring Carsen Gray' + Announces UK Tour Dates

By Stevie Connor.

Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter, Julian Taylor, releases a new single, "Seeds (Acoustic) ft. Carsen Gray"! At the same time, he is also releasing an acoustic collection that includes the new single and the previously released singles, "Opening The Sky (Acoustic)" and "It's Not Enough (Sunset Version)."

"Horrible events drove me to write this song. It was written because of the discovery of the deaths of thousands of Indigenous children sent to residential schools and learning of the people who committed these crimes. It was written because of police brutality and systemic racism that people like me face and have faced. North American governments and the church tried to erase the identity of thousands of people, but despite these efforts, Indigenous culture and Black culture have remained steadfast and strong.

It was important to try and do this song acoustically so the lyrics would really be heard. When Carsen Grey offered to sing on it, that was an incredible gift. Her voice is very gentle, and I even think it sounds childlike at times, which suits the song very well considering the meaning of it.

Seeds' is a message of resilience, strength, and the ability to overcome the greatest of obstacles. I always write about hope, and these lyrics celebrate the strength of the human spirit and convey a message of the potential for growth and achievement. They encourage perseverance and the belief that one can rise above challenges to fulfill their dreams.” UK TOUR DATES July 27, 2023 - Maidenhead, UK | Norden Farm July 29, 2023 - Cambridge, UK | Cambridge Folk Festival July 30, 2023 - Twickenham, UK | The Cabbage Patch, High Tide Festival 2023 July 31, 2023 - Manchester, UK | Band On The Wall Aug. 3, 2023 - London, UK | Water Rats Aug. 4, 2023 - Kirton in Lindsey, UK | Town Hall Live Aug. 6, 2023 - Inverness, UK | Under Canvas Award-winning, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Julian Taylor released his album, Beyond the Reservoir, on October, 2022, via his Howling Turtle, Inc. label, with distribution via Warner Music/ADA. The album was co-produced by Taylor and longtime production partner/collaborator Saam Hashemi, mixed by Hashemi, and mastered by Noah Mintz, and it was recorded at three studio locations — Canterbury, The Fireside Studio, and The Woodshed.

“I really enjoyed writing and producing that album,” Taylor says. “I realized that sharing my personal truth and the stories of my life, as they are and were, was a real gift to myself and to others. It’s not easy to love ourselves, and it’s not easy to love in general. I have had a difficult time with it, and as I shed my own skin to reveal that kind of vulnerability, I found it connected me to the human experience in a more meaningful way.”

Album singles for Beyond the Reservoir included "100 Proof," "Seeds," "Wide Awake," and "Opening the Sky." Beyond the Reservoir’s name was grounded in a specific geographical touchstone Taylor fondly recalled from the not-entirely halcyon days of his teenage youth in Ontario. “I used to hang out at a place in Toronto called the St. Clair Reservoir. If my last album, The Ridge, was a childhood record in a lot of ways, Beyond the Reservoir was an adolescence record – a coming-of-age story – about moving into adulthood. Beyond the Reservoir was an album that addressed identity, loss, sadness, hope, and redemption, and the themes of resilience, courage, and strength were prevalent in every carefully chosen lyric. It contained a gentle spiritual thread that ran throughout the album, touching on each of the elements like fire, water, air, and earth as they relate to humanity. It had an infinite sadness to it, but it also had this infinite hope to it as well. It was a beautifully orchestrated successor to The Ridge.

It was compelling, like a book you couldn't put down. The sheer breadth of Reservoir found Taylor planting a stake for taking his rightful place as one of the most insightful and personally affecting songwriters and performers of the first quarter of the 21st century. “Ultimately, I hope my work helps people relate to their own humanity,” Taylor says.

Beyond the Reservoir was nominated for a 2023 Juno Award in the Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year category. PopMatters named the album one of the top folk albums of 2022. A song from the album, "100 Proof," has been nominated for single of the year in the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Beyond the Reservoir followed on the heels of Taylor's award-winning 2020 release, The Ridge, which scored him worldwide critical acclaim and eight award nominations in 2020 and 2021, including two Juno Awards, the Polaris Long List, and two Canadian Folk Music Awards, in which he won Solo Artist of the Year.

Julian Taylor has been part of the musical fabric and landscape in Canada for two decades. Taylor enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2020, when his second solo acoustic album, The Ridge, earned more than five million plays on Spotify, praise from press worldwide, and airplay from America to Australia to the U.K. Loaded with soulful Americana and country twang, the album was produced by Taylor himself and Saam Hashemi, and was recorded at The Woodshed in Toronto. In addition to winning Taylor Solo Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, The Ridge was also nominated for: two Juno Awards (Contemporary Folk Album of The Year, Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year), the Polaris Prize Long List, a Summer Solstice Indigenous Award (Contemporary Folk Album of the Year), a Canadian Music Week INDIES Award (Indigenous Artist of the Year), and an additional Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination in the English Songwriter of the Year category. The nominations and awards kept coming in 2022, with Taylor winning best male artist in the International Acoustic Music Awards and scoring five Native American Music Award nominations.

Taylor, of combined Mohawk and Caribbean ancestry, is a major label veteran, Toronto music scene staple, and musical chameleon. His versatility as a songwriter is signature; one minute he’s onstage playing with his band spilling out electrified rhythm and blues glory, and the next he’s featured at a folk festival delivering a captivating solo singer-songwriter set. Formerly associated with the band Staggered Crossing, he has continued to record and perform as a solo artist and has released twelve studio albums since 2001. With his songs being placed in such TV shows as “Haven,” “Private Eyes,” “Kim’s Convenience,” “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and “Elementary,” his versatility as a songwriter is signature. He has had four albums on the long list of the Polaris Prize in Canada and has charted on several Canadian and Indigenous Music Charts. Two songs from The Ridge album, the title track “The Ridge,” and “Human Race,” went to #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown, while the Julian Taylor Band song “Back Again” hit #3 on the same chart.

Taylor is as explosive and captivating a live performer as you’ll ever see. Taylor has toured Canada and the U.S. countless times, sharing the stage with the likes of Serena Ryder, Blue Rodeo, William Prince, AHI, Rodney Crowell, Keb’ Mo’, and has performed at the Festival d’Été de Quebec, the Mariposa Folk Festival, Ottawa BluesFest, and more. Taylor was extremely honored to perform at not one but two Olympic Games, in Salt Lake City and Vancouver.


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