ECHO

EXCLUSIVE: Loryn Taggart talks her latest release “The River”

Loryn Taggart first found a passion for music listening to the songs that echoed from her father’s record player. At 16, she left for Toronto to pursue music as a member of the Canadian band, CANVAS. 

In February 2020, the now Montreal based artist released her debut solo EP, ‘Irene.’ Nearly a year later, she has returned with her acoustic folk track, “The River” and is currently at work on her upcoming debut album.

We chatted with Taggart about growing up surrounded by music, “The River,” and what listeners can look forward to next!  

What first got you interested in music?

I grew up in a supportive household. My parents made room for us to explore and create. We never felt ashamed to do that. My brothers and I got to go through our own phases of sports, music, acting and social hobbies until we all came into what we loved most. Music was apparent for me early on. My mom sang in the church choir, my dad collected guitars and was a brilliant blues player, my older brother was a poet and played the drums. There was access to instruments, and karaoke machines, and CDs everywhere. We watched a ton of musicals and my mom and I frequented a theatre/dinner show hall called Stage West where I was introduced to musicals like Hello Dolly and The Sound of Music. I was attracted to music and as I started to hone on my skills it was pretty evident that I was good. I think I learned to play “Smoke on the Water” by ear at age 6.   

Who did you listen to growing up and do they have an influence on what your sound is today? 

My dad was an early riser. I always woke up to sizzling bacon and the rattling of his record player. On rotation was either The Wall, Abbey Road, Beggars Banquet, Clouds etc. Classic rock and folk music is really nostalgic for me. As I got older my dad and I used to take back-country road trips through Alberta listening to Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. I’m definitely influenced by the music I was exposed to growing up. Melodically and lyrically I developed a mature sound early on. I like to think I skipped a good portion of my ‘teenage fluffy composing’.

What was the inspiration for your new single “The River”?

“The River” is a break-up song and it was a joke at first. I hosted a friend from out of town for the holidays. I was still learning how to cook, so I decided to try and cook us s’mores via the stove top. I ended up forgetting about them and burnt them to a crisp, sending smoke through the apartment. We were in stitches on the floor. I started to joke that maybe my ex boyfriend was right and that I would be a dead-beat wife. 

And then I picked up my guitar, as I tend to do when I’m hanging with friends, and I started playing some Broken Social Scene riff while ad-libbing, inspired by the same ex boyfriend, “I can’t cook worth nothing I can’t!” and “I’m not pretty like those Victoria Secret Angels, I’m literally just trying to keep you around.”

My friend was listening intently and then the laughing stopped. He said finally, “That’s actually not a bad idea for a song, make it positive and I think you’ve got something.”

What was the writing and production process like? 

The writing took 10 minutes in my kitchen. 

The production took place about 7 months later when I had all the musicians on board to session the song. I chose who I wanted on the track carefully. I asked some of my friends from bands like The Franklin Electric, Half Moon Run and Gabriella Laberge to take part. I was feeling ready for the journey of the song, but then the unimaginable happened. 

My father died the day before production for “The River”. I almost gave up on the song completely. My mom and I spoke about it for hours and we picked each other up. She really helped me with understanding that going forward to record this song would have made dad proud. I recorded the vocals and the guitar, took time off to attend the funeral and mourn with my family, then I got back in the studio and finished the sessions with the other musicians. We finished the master about a month later, all while in the midst of a global pandemic. It was only a few weeks but felt like an eternity. I’m proud of myself, my mom, and everyone involved in this project. Such a great team. 

If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “The River,” what do you imagine it looking like? 

If you happen to be getting on a train soon…try to find a window seat. Sit alone. Once the train starts to move, sit back, press play and stare out the window. Take it in. Reflect on your current relationships and think about whether or not they serve you right. 

What can fans expect from your upcoming debut album in Spring 2021? 

I’m so glad you brought this up. There has been a change of plans. My main studio is located in Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve been working with my producer there for a couple years, he is absolutely brilliant. However, due to the recent travel bans and red zones between the United States and Canada I have had to completely rethink my plans to continue my album. I take travel bans seriously right now and I’m far more concerned with keeping people safe and healthy while I record at home. The album will be postponed for the time being, but from the masters that I DO have, it’s haunting, jazzy, and pretty damn intimate. 

What can fans look forward to next? 

I am songwriting a lot! With some incredible musicians. Some in Montreal, Paris, Toronto, and my sound is adapting. I’m writing pop music for other artists, blues and folk music for myself. I’ve signed on to compose music for a play here in Montreal and I’m also in the works for some collaborations next summer. In terms of my own project I have two live off the floor music videos in editing now and I am in the midst of recording a few singles, much more joyful and fun production wise. I took a brief step away from jazz music to release some pop-folk. I’m so excited.  

What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world? 

Believe in yourself so hard, that even on the days that you fall and falter you still expect miracles.

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