Here is the brand new single from Sheffield’s Samuel James Taylor. ‘Virginia Girl’ is delivered with an enjoyable, rolling, rhythmic strum, over which Taylor’s tuneful singing voice sounds clear and pure. Partway through he adds harmonica for some additional, wailing melody while he controls the volume and pace of his guitar to good effect. It’s a life-affirming song designed to lift you and lighten you and in this it succeeds. Taylor says: “‘Virginia Girl’ is a song about embracing existence and creation with a certain joie de vivre, to look at life through a dreamer’s lens. As we grow older it can sometimes be all too easy to settle into the mundane day-to-day motions. I wrote this song for my wife, Rebecca, as she has always been able to keep me on track when things get too serious, when life gets too heavy… She reminds me to be playful, to dream, to hope, and to always look at the world with a childlike wonder.” The video for ‘Virginia Girl’ places us in an intimate setting for an engaging live performance.
‘Virginia Girl’ is the third single from ‘Wild Tales and Broken Hearts’, the new album from the Sheffield singer-songwriter. The troubadour from the Steel City has spent twenty years in the music industry, beginning with his band Dead Like Harry, once picked by Q Magazine as a Glastonbury Emerging Talent act. Alongside various side projects, such as Taylor & Marie, Ophelia and The Greatest Endangered Thing, Taylor has also produced solo material, championed by the likes of Graham Norton and Steve Lamacq. Illness forced him to slow down and enter into a period of isolated introspection. However, this ultimately led to a different sort of creative inspiration and new songs emerging. He explains: “I couldn’t continue at the pace I was going, it was time to take a step back. I needed to prioritise my health and work out how I was going to move forwards from here. There was period of time when I considered giving it all up. I couldn’t find myself in my music for the first time in my life. I was always playing shows, touring, connecting with people, I felt lost without that human connection. It was an isolating and lonely place. I wasn’t really sure how to get out of it and, for a while, I questioned whether it would be easier just to let it all go. With time away from the constant shuffle and go, I found a new voice, or maybe it was the voice that was there all along. I spent a lot of time listening to the albums that had first inspired me to become a songwriter, albums I remember singing to in the back of the car as a child. I opened up a door to my past through Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Carole King, James Taylor… artists that began the journey for me. I knew it was time to get back in the studio again and I knew exactly how I wanted to make the record.” And so, the new record came together, supported in the studio by the GRAMMY-nominated producer and friend Neilson Hubbard (Mary Gautier, Amy Speace, Ben Glover). Taylor and Hubbard recorded the songs live over three days in Nashville’s Skinny Elephant Studios, with help from some excellent performers: Michael Rinne (Miranda Lambert), Juan Solorzano (Ruston Kelly) and Rebecca Van Cleave. The result is an uplifting exploration of life, love and ourselves; it’s an album full of hope. Look out for ‘Wild Tales and Broken Hearts’, which is due to drop on 21st October. In the meantime, enjoy this.