Folk and country music have become more prominent in the mainstream over the last few years but it’s always mixed with pop or indie such as Mumford And Sons or Of Monsters And Men. It’s rare that we get an authentic retro sound that is still cool enough to potentially sit alongside those big names. Pembrokeshire duo Taylor And Marie present a soulful blues-folk sound that fits this bill perfectly.
Influenced by great country duets such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and Johnny Cash and June Carter, young artists Samuel Taylor and Jodie Marie have a shared love of old-school greats which brought them together to write their own creation. Samuel says:
“We spent late nights listening through loads of old records. Just showing each other tracks we loved. I’d put on ‘One Too Many Mornings’ by Dylan and Jodie would put on ‘Silver Dagger’ by Baez, I’d play ‘Beeswing’ by Richard Thompson and Jodie would show me ‘Love Has No Pride’ by Bonnie Raitt and on and on. Jodie has a great knowledge of music and showed me so many soulful, blues, country records. It was great to listen and naturally form the ideas of what we wanted to create.”
Their EP is made up of songs that were spawned from these late night sessions and the strong presence of the moon on it is explained by the duo:
“It’s the light that brightens up a night sky, it controls the tides”, explains Marie with Taylor suggesting “The moon, I’m drunk on the moon… Seems to make a lot of sense considering most of the songs we’ve written seem to have arrived with us late at night, during all night sessions playing songs.”
It begins with All I Need, a country strum and the first taste of these wonderfully authentic retro folk vocals. There is the obvious hippy vibe and a nice simple beat underneath the smooth harmonies. Add a catchy laid-back rhythm and it’s the perfect track to doze to on a warm summer evening under the stars. It’s followed by their cover of American 60s rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic hit Bad Moon Rising. Putting a country spin on it with the inclusion of a harmonica, Taylor And Marie perform subtle harmonies over the steady drum and summer party feel.
Winding down in the second half of the EP, it moves into Never Let You Down. Marie’s gorgeous bluesy tone filters through the steady plodding rhythm of this soothing love ballad. It’s a story of undying friendship and love which is illustrated in an atmospheric soundscape and swaying flow. You really feel the connection between both halves of the group in this song and it is perhaps their own story of how they’ll always be there for each other.
Ending on the tired notes of the title track Tilt The Moon, the EP comes to a sleepy end. A simple slow strum and soft piano are all that is needed to back up the exposed vocals. The chorus has some dramatic crashes which add a quirky twist to this otherwise mellow, calm ending to a very arty, vintage-inspired EP.
It’s perfect for chilling out to and getting a modern flavour of times gone by. This resurrection of folk and country music is something that is very much welcome. These songs are honest and full of emotion as well as being dedicated to telling beautiful stories, which isn’t a common motif in contemporary music. Taylor And Marie are not aiming to be retro blues stars. They’re simply bringing back their musical tastes into a world which has lost touch with them.