by Chris Hatch
Phillip Jon Taylor’s latest takes the ingredients of heartland Americana and sprinkles them with something special.
Lucky 22’s heartbeat thumps away in the form of a surefooted drumline and crunch of guitar, but it’s at the periphery that Taylor weaves his magic. Mournful swells of harmonica sweep in and out, stabs of piano brighten the corners, and the spaces left open are soon filled by snaking, slinking, sliding guitar overdubs that waver between those sad and happy notes.
Vocally, Taylor straddles the Atlantic as if he’s half caught between Manhattan and the Moray Firth – shades of Roddy Frame and Prefab Sprout’s Paddy McAloon spring to mind, while his upper register recalls the heart-pouring honesty of Scott Hutchison and Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull.
It’s hard to make songwriting sound simple yet effective, but, on Lucky 22, Taylor does just that – a simple premise, no overt hook or chorus, yet somehow it creeps up on you, and, before long, finds itself tumbling through your mind in its own sweetly melancholic way. The perfect track to tide us over until his forthcoming EP, Supportive Partner Please Stand Here – out 6th May.
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