LOS ANGELES–Three years after his impressive run as a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” singer and songwriter Taylor John Williams is set to release his highly anticipated debut full-length album El Dorado on Friday.
This fall, Williams and his new band, The Crooked Hand, (Zachary Ross, guitar; Eliot Lorango, bass; Thomas Greene, drums), will embark on a West Coast tour in support of the album: a beautifully moving collection that chronicles Williams’s first year in the “golden city” of Los Angeles. Williams will kick off the tour with an album release concert L.A.’s famed Hotel Cafe on the 27.
An Oregon native, “The Voice” finalist may have his roots firmly grounded within the mellifluous singer-songwriter sphere, but the rising young artist’s music is steeped in storytelling that cuts deeper than that of your typical crooner. Williams’s intensely personal compositions reveal a man fully embracing his own insecurities, resulting in work that is moving, visceral, and organic. For those who have experienced Taylor’s live performance, El Dorado resonates as a natural extension of his deeply honest approach to his musical narrative – and his undeniably heavy-hearted, yet sharply humorous, personality. Williams showcases an intriguing dichotomy. On stage, a heartbreaking soliloquy will often seamlessly segue into a wry “that’s what she said” joke – a testament to his refreshing mission to not take himself too seriously despite the raw emotion he references in his art (he embraces being a part of the circle he calls “sad whiny guys with guitars”). This approach transfers smoothly to the feel of El Dorado, a soulful and introspective portrait of an artist’s journey.
Williams’s voice is as strong and clear as his lyrics, which are void of overly poetic language and concepts. His first two EPs (Song Of A Dead Man, Hiraeth) showcase the spirit of a true poet, as well as Williams’ uniquely genre-bending vocals that are at times sweet and delicate, and at others raw and unsettling. Jeff Buckley is a name that is perhaps overused as a comparison to describe impassioned singer-songwriters, yet listeners frequently express an awareness of their shared artistic substance. Williams sites the late musician as one of his largest influences.
Williams joined forces with PledgeMusic for a successful pre-order campaign which allowed fans to pledge on unique items and experiences including handwritten lyric books and a Skype session with the artist. El Dorado will be available to pledgers in digital format on Friday, with additional digital platforms set to release the album soon.