Like a lot of musicians, Lara Taubman grew up surrounded by music. At some point she turned toward painting and curating art, but the music bug is a funny thing. It has a way of getting inside people and setting up camp. In fact, if you talk to a lot of musicians, you’ll learn that they can’t imagine making a living any other way. Whether or not that’s the case with Taubman, it’s fair to say that the music bug resides in her and compelled her to record the new album Revelation. Of the album, she said, “Revelation is about my journey to heal through making music.”
With healthy doses of mandolin and fiddle in the opening track “Sound of Heartbreak,” you can hear the influence of the music that Taubman grew up with in southern Virginia. But this isn’t just mountain music. You can also hear some pedal steel. Taubman ties it all together with a voice that brings Gillian Welch to mind.
While the bluegrass influences are more apparent, she delves a bit into some soul sounds. It comes through particularly in the organ throughout the album. With the piano, backing vocals, and guitar sounds, “Hookup” is a good example of the soul sound. The interesting twist in this song is that the haunting vocals lend something of a psychedelic sound.
Most of the songs have multiple layers of sound. The exception is the title track, which features only vocals and acoustic guitar. It has the feel of a Simon and Garfunkel song.
This album doesn’t dwell in a particular genre. There are threads of bluegrass, country, folk, and soul. The songs have a deliberate pace that matches Taubman’s vocal delivery, which is perfect for telling the stories in these tunes. On top of that, the songs were mixed in such a way that they deliver layers of sound to the listener. The effect is that you really focus on the music to take in the various components.
This is a bold album, not simply because Taubman followed some inner voice to start making music, but also because she doesn’t allow herself to be pigeonholed into any particular genre. She shows talent as a songwriter and storyteller. On top of that, she showed she made the right choice in following that inner voice. Revelation (Wolfe Island Records) will be available on July 10. Order your copy here.