Album Review : Gary John Taylor – Stories

In the midst of 2020 we look to wherever we can for hope, relief and somewhat comfort. Like many others I find solace in finding new artists and listening to brand new music, it’s almost a saviour from the day to day curve balls this unpredicted year has thrown. Welcome Mr Taylor.

Stories is the long-awaited debut album by Lancashire’s own Gary John Taylor. Written and recorded in pure isolation, the album conjures up feelings of reflectiveness, optimism and nothing but positivity. Something we can all use in these unprecedented times. Musically Stories is packed with acoustically made melodies, untouchable relatable lyrics and addictive chorus’ which just makes you beg for more. 

‘Every kind of way’ kicks off proceedings and does not disappoint. A melodic whistle guided by a softly spoken guitar and a rock steady tightness. The formula just works and brings the whistle to the forefront, which is a welcomed added extra. “I’ll build a raft and push it out/into the sea” are the opening lyrics which set sail to the upcoming journey.

It’s an escape and when the time is ready we can do the things we’ve missed and loved. As the album trickles from song to song it flows seamlessly. As tracks like ‘Rainbow’, ‘Rhino Skin’ and ‘If i had to choose’ pass by, the sense of wonder overcomes and the lyrics become more relatable. 

‘Am i on your mind?’ asks the age old question, “Do you still think about me?”, i’m somewhat sure we’ve all asked ourselves that after a relationship has ended or broken down. “This ink will never dry” is a subtle yet embracive lyric.

The music sits right throughout. There’s no thrashing, out of control guitars here, just melodic acoustics that sleep on a gentle bed of tightly knit drums and warm bass. It’s a perfect balance and doesn’t sound underwhelming. 

‘You are the light’ is the final track of the album and it couldn’t be more of a fitting end. “My little boat seems to be lost at sea” is homage to the start of the album and fits perfectly within the story being told throughout. It seems almost impossible not to bop your head or tap your foot when listening to the ukulele. The song itself is destined to be an anthemic fan favourite which will be sung from show to show. 

Stories as it suggests isn’t just telling a story, it’s painting a visual picture.