Getting To Know Samuel Taylor

Samuel TaylorWe caught up with Samuel Taylor recently, during which he offered up his whereabouts at the time of Michael Jackson’s death. Not that we were demanding an alibi:

I am Samuel Taylor, singer-songwriter, originating from Sheffield and currently a resident of London Town. I play the guitar and a little harmonica too.

My debut EP is a collection of tracks written over the last year or so. It begins to tell the story of the last year of my life, in an abstract kind of way. Inspired by the sound of stripped back records like Ryan Adams ‘Heartbreaker’ and Gillian Welch ‘The Harrow and The Harvest’. The record was mostly tracked live in a house studio in Stoke Newington with a band of very talented musicians including Damon Wilson (Drums), Luke Potashnick (Guitar and Bass), Richard Causon (Piano). I wanted the honesty of the lyrics to shine through with the bare production of the tracks. I had spent a lot of time over the last few years playing guitar on lots of Pop tracks that always felt very crowded in sound to me. I was used to getting on the bus after sessions and listening to older recordings, early Dylan and Van Morrison albums, to help clear my head. I wanted to hark back to something raw and imperfect, something I felt was more honest somehow. I was in a dark place when I wrote some of those tracks and I felt exposed, I wanted the sound of the record to reflect that feeling.

I’m inspired by Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Ellis, Dawes, Gillian Welch, Ethan Johns, Josh Rouse, Elvis Presley, Buffalo 66, Tom Waits, John Cooper Clarke, Richard Hawley, The Beatles, Whiskeytown, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Duane Michals, The Pogues, Paul Auster, Simon Armitage, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sylvia Plath, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and so much more.

I’m currently listening to Robert Ellis, ‘Photographs’, on continued repeat. A beautiful songwriter with a real honest delivery, he writes heartfelt songs that take the listener on beautiful journeys. Stand out track for me is ‘Bamboo’ a beautiful folk ballad that’s music slowly winds and bends around some dark lyrics

I spend too much time writing songs – I should really get out more.

It might surprise people to learn that…
1 I played my first gig when I was 13.
2 I performed at Glastonbury the day Michael Jackson died.
3 I played backing guitar for an artist on an episode of the Alan Titchmarsh show.
4 I know for a fact Mel C does not like Milk in her tea.
5 Last year Hollyoaks used 7 of my songs as background music to their scenes.
6 I’m currently wearing a superman fancy dress outfit.
7 One of the above is not true.

I’d like to go to Cuba.


Interview by Bobby TownsendSamuel launches his EP at The Betsy Trotwood in London on April 24th.  Keep up to date with everything Samuel has got going on by following him on Facebook and hear some of his tunes on Bandcamp.