Award-winning Toronto-based Americana singer-songwriter Julian Taylor released his latest album, The Ridge, via Howling Turtle, Inc., on June 19, 2020. Taylor decided to release the album in the hope that his songs might bring joy to listeners in troubled times. “I hope people can find solace in this music,” offers Taylor. “It’s meant to draw you in and really touch your heart.”
The title track, an ode to the idyllic childhood summers Taylor spent at his grandparents’ farm in British Columbia, is being released as the first single from the effort on April 10, 2020. “The Ridge” premiered today at American Songwriter, who wrote of the song, “Lush... poignant... Lyrically, Taylor brilliantly displays the months he spent outside of his more urban school-year home. The seasons shared with his sister working on the farm are definitive to his identity. ‘The Ridge’ exudes innocence. The sense of place the song represents was the one that protected Taylor during his early life from the steep terrain he would navigate later in life. The song is one of gratitude for the place that gave him the rooted confidence to express his multi-faceted identity as an artist.”
“Human Race,” a particularly seductive earworm that finds Taylor shaping his own path beyond the intersecting songwriting crossroads of Mark Knopfler, Gordon Lightfoot, and Robbie Robertson.
Taylor’s inherently cinematic approach to his storytelling has a lot to do with his heritage and upbringing. “It’s an interesting thing to be part Mohawk and part West Indian because I’ve always had this feeling that I never fit in anywhere,” he admits. “As a mixed person, it’s like, oh, where do you go, and how do you connect with people? That’s all I’ve been trying to do, and my life experience as a person who is mixed helps me do that. These stories are all coming from a person who tries to fit in but doesn’t quite fit in. That’s really what my work has always been about — that longing to be a part of something.”
Each song on The Ridge represents an acoustic-driven mixture of styles that reflects Taylor’s range as a creative force by building upon the templates forged during his tenure fronting the chart-topping alt-rocking collective Staggered Crossing as well as the fine funk and rhythm and the blues-driven foundation he continues to mine with the still-active Julian Taylor Band.
From the hopeful swoon of “Over the Moon,” to the tribal-energy landscape that permeates “Ballad of the Young Troubadour,” to the Tex-Mex Canadian- Western vibe mashup of “Love Enough,” the honest, raw nature of The Ridge enables listeners a myriad of personally relatable entry points into Taylor’s enlightening narrative tales, all of which are about and for his family on this album.