Taylor Shae is an award-winning singer-songwriter born and raised in Colorado, with a bluesy sound that “mixes old soul lyrics with bright vocals and a high-energy delivery for a fresh take on the Americana genre,” (303 Magazine, 2019). Taylor performs with multi-instrumentalist RD, and together the duo has played Colorado venues and festivals since 2016, grabbing the attention of any passerby willing to give into the urge to tap their feet. Few songwriters can claim the release of four albums by the age of 20 while also being a full-time student at Colorado State University, but Taylor’s drive is evident in her upcoming release “Legend Keeper” on Oct. 2.
“Legend Keeper” is an energetic, bluesy-Americana collection made up of stories that are luminous in character, authentic in portrayal of corruption, and enduring in a society of outlaws. Shae’s goal as a songwriter is to become a ‘legend keeper’ herself, a teller of tales that live on through songs meant to be shared, sung along to, and lyrically celebrated.
The album kicks down the doors with soulful Americana-rock anthem “Resolution,” celebrating a gypsy-folk narrative of hitting the road without regrets. You can expect hearts to be strung up over the second song, “Storymaker,” revelling in the idea that as much as we want to write our own story as a ‘storymaker,’ sometimes life is out of our hands and we can only be storytellers. Listening to some of the songs there is almost an uncanny realization that Shae was able to foresee the future challenges of 2020. This is evident in “Lights On,” a song that encourages down-hearted souls to ‘keep the lights on inside,’ or remember to stay positive through dark times.
Not only does Shae bring stories to life in her music, she also aims to raise awareness about large-scale environmental issues such as climate change through songs “What’s Left When” and “Street Sweeper,” expressing passion and concern for the future state of our natural world. In fact, Shae won Sustain Music and Nature’s Backyard Songscape competition in May 2020 with her song “What’s Left When.”
Taylor Shae’s chameleon-esque vocals come through in moments of lyric vulnerability, fiery character during clever melodic phrases, and at the same time providing a full-bodied background chorus or sometimes a gospel back-porch harmony. A pair of acoustic guitars are a driving force in this album, yet each song has a right of its own.
Each of the 10 tracks have been released with a creative music video for a complete audio-visual experience. All of the videos can be found on Taylor Shae’s Youtube page.
Taylor’s third album “High States” was inspired by the vibrancy and liveliness of her 2018 music setlists, the 8-track collection “will kiss your ears like the sun on your shoulders during the dog days to come” (303 Magazine, 2019). Every song on the album has rolled down the streets of a Colorado festival with energy and reason and the music captures the memories of summer. In the songwriting, Taylor wanted to explore the role that sense of place has upon human relationships, and showcased this through soul-wired vocals and untamed bass. Taylor was inspired to create music videos using footage from these live shows to emancipate the spirits of these songs (watch the music videos).
Taylor’s songwriting has been described as having a “carefree edge,” complemented by her “velvety-toned” and “powerhouse vocals” (Boulder Daily Camera, 2019). Taylor believes that much of her songwriting is influenced by the world around her. She is currently a student at Colorado State University, studying Media Communication as an outlet for the passion for storytelling she finds in songwriting and music.
Taylor Shae has received much success as an emerging young songwriter. She was selected to participate in the 2019 Boulder County Artist In Residence Program. Located in Nederland’s Caribou Ranch Open Space, Taylor experienced an inspiring week up in the mountains dedicated to songwriting, videography, and other creative endeavors. She’s performed at many festivals across Colorado including Bohemian Nights presents NewWestFest and Thursday Night Live, Fort Collins Music Experiment, Colorado Women In Blues, Denver People’s Fair, Underground Music Showcase, Rhythm on The River, The Boulder County Fair, and Bands on the Bricks. She was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Handmade Songs competition and recorded an original single, “Alive Not Broken,” at eTown studios. Taylor also won a singer-songwriter competition in 2017 as a part of the Teen Creek Festival in Boulder, Colorado.
Taylor Shae’s musical journey began in a town with a diverse music scene, where she was a lead vocalist for several jazz bands and a rock band. She landed her first gig at the age of 13 at a local art gallery, and was stunned by the thrill of performing and the incredible support from her fellow hometown musicians and fans. Taylor fused her passions of writing and music and began daily songwriting sessions in the spare bedroom of her home. She had no idea what would come of her creative nonsense, until she began to produce original recordings and reach a broader audience. At the age of 16, Taylor released her debut album, “Something to Prove”.
Taylor Shae’s 2nd album, “Twenty Paces” released in March 2018, is a combination of storytelling and soaring melodies. When describing her approach to this album, she says, “I believe it’s important to have moments of vulnerability, because it opens the door to relate to others and make connections. Everyone has insecurities, but it takes fearlessness to push through them.”
As Taylor continues to produce more musical creations, her upcoming release “Legend Keeper” is proof of an artist honing in her craft, uncovering a soulful sound that’s been at her core since birth. It’s easy to listen to the growth and musical boundaries being shredded as Taylor continues on the path of making music and self-discovery as an individual with a fiery passion and something to prove.