The story of Taylor Rae’s path to her upcoming debut album release starts off in a pretty straightforward manner. At age two, she says, “I just decided I was going to be a singer. It wasn’t really an active choice. It was just like, ‘I AM a singer. This is what I’m going to do with my life.’” Voice and piano lessons followed. When the songwriting muse came calling, Taylor found her preferred accompaniment: “When I started writing songs when at age ten, I needed another instrument that I could move around with.” She was “super-motivated” to teach herself guitar, starting at age 12.
After music school, Taylor continued down the musician’s path without looking back. “I just didn’t want a job on the side…so I figured out how to make a living playing gigs.” Her coastal California location at the time (specifically the Santa Cruz area, south of San Francisco) made that possible, with a myriad of performing opportunities and the help of a booking agent. In pre-pandemic times, Taylor averaged 200 gigs annually.
Now, just shy of her 30s, Taylor is releasing her debut album of 12 original songs. The songs touch on the themes and events important to her from age 19 through 27, thus the title, Mad Twenties. On it, she fearlessly explores the human condition by way of many musical genres. It’s emotionally raw, lyrically polished and delivered with a vocal mastery developed over decades, like a fine wine, despite her young chronological age.
The seed of the project was planted when, at 21, Taylor penned the line “In our mad twenties now,” to open her song “Liquify,” a expression of the frustration felt when life doesn’t turn out the way one was led to believe it might or should be. “At that moment I thought ‘I think I’m going to do a record one day, called Mad Twenties’…I waited for the right time…It presented itself during the pandemic, when I had a lot of time to put things together…”
By Dan Walsh