Taylor Kelly has premiered her new single titled ‘Let You Go’. People weave in and out of our lives – loss is something we all know all too well. We cling to those people that make us feel special and seen. Every once and a while, it works out alright. Taylor Kelly’s newest single, “Let You Go,” distills that longing into a glamorous, beautifully-arranged R&B anthem.
Originally from Rochester, NY, Kelly has now become an integral part of Philadelphia’s music scene. Her powerful vocals provide an anchor to the songs while electronic beats and showstopping brass all weave together into a vibrant, beautiful tapestry. Inspired by artists like Mahalia, Amber Mark, and Lauryn Hill, Kelly is helping to usher in a new era of R&B in the underground.
“Let You Go” begins with delicate piano chords and Kelly’s distinctive voice before building into a giant wall of sound. Though there’s so much happening, the heart of the song is never lost. Kelly has a knack for building a world in her songs. You can almost hear the song being played in a beautiful theater, with ornate chandeliers spitting light across Kelly and her band. Recorded at the Headroom Philadelphia, Kelly & co did a great job of making this song sound massive. In the song’s triumphant chorus, Kelly sings, “I wish you could hold me / I wish you could need me / Give me that fairytale love.” It’s such a human emotion – that desire to feel loved. In every one of her vocal runs and sustained notes, Kelly sounds as if she’s wearing her heart on her sleeve.
If one thing is clear from this single, it’s that Kelly is a masterful performer and writer. She has tapped into that most basic of human needs. Love is sometimes difficult to make stick around. And even when it leaves, sometimes we can’t seem to let it go. Regardless of whether your love is here to stay or has recently departed, you’ll hear bits of yourself in this single. The best music reflects our lives back to us. “Let You Go” is a mirror: Kelly allows us to see ourselves in each line.
Listen to the single and stick around for an exclusive interview with the artist!
What was it like recording at Headroom Philadelphia? Did you go in with a pretty good idea of what you wanted the song to sound like, or did it expand once you got into the studio?
Everything I’ve recorded since moving to Philadelphia has been at Headroom, so it feels like home to me (however, they recently relocated and I haven’t recorded there yet). The vibe and energy of a room is really important to me when recording and Headroom really gets me in the zone. We had already been playing this song as a band before recording it and we wanted it to be very live sounding, so we basically just recorded it the way we’d been playing it live which made it really easy. We did think to add some synth bass in the studio which gives the song some more texture. I think it adds a really nice touch!
Was “Let You Go” inspired by real life events?
100%. I was totally crazy trying to walk away from a “situationship” that I knew was draining me more than it was filling me up, but I felt like I was addicted and couldn’t leave no matter what I did. One time, we went months without talking to one another and then we ran into each other on the street and we somehow ended up right back where we started. When I wrote this song, I had already written some 20 odd songs about this person and they were all kind of heavy and sad. My soul needed something different (and I had been listening to a lot of Mahalia and Amber Mark at the time) and this catchy, upbeat tune just kind of came out of me. It’s been a few years since I’ve let go of this person (hallelujah!) but it’s nice to have gotten a bop out of it and people really love it when we play it live!
How do you feel like your music fits into the Philadelphia scene?
I think my music has absolutely been shaped by the Philadelphia scene. I’ve heard people say about certain songs of mine that they’re very much a “Philadelphia sound”, and I take that as the deepest compliment. This scene is so rich and the history and culture are so deep when it comes to R&B and Soul (think Jill Scott, The Roots, and Patti Labelle to name a few) so I feel honored to be a part of the scene and to be making music that is thought of as part of the Philadelphia sound. I wouldn’t care too much if I didn’t fit in though ‘cause I’m just gonna do me no matter what!
Is there another album on the way? What’s next for you?
I have been in and out of the studio for the better part of this year with my good friend and fellow musician, Eoin Murphy (aka Brushstroke), leisurely working on a handful of songs. I definitely plan to release an EP but not sure if it’s going to happen this year. If not this year, definitely by spring of next year! I’ve actually been focusing a lot on touring, which I’ve already done a good amount of this year and have a few more weekenders planned for the remainder of the year (check my website for dates and cities!), so I’m just trying to keep that momentum going. Take me out on tour please! It’s hard to balance creating and playing and paying my bills but I’m doing as much as I can without exploding!
Featured image by Audrey Gallagher.