Those of you who follow the magazine as more regular readers may notice that I tend to review the country and jazz scene, while Stevie does the rock and blues side. It suits our tastes. This piece on Taynee Lord began as a review of her new single “You Think You’re All That,” but then, as I dipped into her back catalogue, I wanted to develop the review into a feature. “You Think You’re All That” is released on all platforms on November 1st.
Taynee founded her 5 piece band (the Crookes), which quickly took shape in Bristol in late 2018, recording their debut EP “If Only” in January 2019. On release day, Taynee’s single “Blue Jeans” made its first radio debut on BBC Radio Bristol, and ever since she has been a rising force amidst the burgeoning British Country Music Scene with her transmitting connection to the roots of Americana. Taynee was nominated for British Country AirPlay Artiste of the Year 2019, and she and the band made their television performance debut on Sky TV Showcase in December 2019, playing live on the UK Americana Bar Show.
This is my first solo feature piece, so I hope you like it, and it was great to ask Taynee a few questions.
We often note here that country music frequently carries a narrative; country songs tell a story—often painful—but over this great melody. We love rock too, but that can often be more about girls and partying! Do you agree? Do you feel storytelling is an important part of your music?
Taynee- I adore telling stories in my songs, and every song I’ve ever written has one. Whether it’s my own story of an experience I’ve felt or I know someone who has been through the situation. Before I write a song, I first sit down and think of a story from beginning to end about where I want it to go, and then start the process from there. I wouldn’t say rock music lacks storytelling; it depends on who is telling the story. You can have country music that only talks about girls, beers and trucks too! But in country music, storytelling is definitely my favourite part, if not the most important aspect. It’s why I connect so much to the genre; being able to connect to someone through lyrics is a powerful thing.
What took you toward country sounds? Were you in a band in high school? Were you one of those girls walking down the corridor singing away?
Taynee- I was definitely the girl singing away in the corridor. At school, I was in every show! But I have always loved country music, since I was a little girl. My Nan first introduced me to Dolly Parton; she would play her CD in the car, and I would sing away at a very young age. My mum always said I could sing before I could walk! My Nan eventually gave me the Dolly CD, and I knew every word to that album backwards! I was obsessed with Dolly’s showmanship, her song-writing and her outfits! My friends at school would have posters of boy bands on their bedroom walls and know all the chart music, but not me. I had photos of Dolly plastered everywhere! Then in college, I was in a rock band, but I’ve always been told I have the voice of a country singer. Although I love a good heavy guitar solo and have always loved rock music (and it surprises some people that my favourite band is Royal Blood), my vocals have that country twang. I think it helps to have a south west Bristolian accent that lends itself well to country.
What is the tale behind “You Think You’re All That?” (if we dare ask!) – and how does this single fit into your musical development?
Taynee- I feel my songs all have their own personalities; some of my songs are definitely more ‘country’ than others, and I would say this is one of them. I love the contrast of the lyrics to the feel of the music, ‘You Think You’re All That’ has a great upbeat feel to it, but the lyrics are more bitter when you dig into them. Although I am now in my mid 20’s, I actually wrote this song when I was a teenager. I wrote it about a friend I had at the time and how she couldn’t see how toxic she was being with her actions. The lyrics definitely hit some harsh home truths, and essentially were a way for me to get out my emotions, it was like writing in a diary… which then openly became this song.
Are you touring soon? What are your plans for the Christmas / Winter period musically?
Taynee- This winter I am planning to be musically tucked away, writing lots of new exciting material ready for 2024. However, upcoming in November, I do have two London shows that you can catch me at. I am headlining Buck n’ Bull London at Phantom Peak on November 25th. I will also be part of an acoustic writers round with Clewes Country and Live in the Living Room Gives Back for charity at The Bedford in Balham, London, on Sunday, November 12. I am so honoured to be performing for a great cause. I can’t wait to hopefully get into the studio to record some new music this winter too!
Lastly, if you could invite one musician/artist alive/dead for a night out, who would you invite and where would you take them?
Taynee- Well, it’s no surprise from the previous story of my childhood obsession that I would definitely invite Dolly Parton. I would want nothing more than a masterclass from a true legend. I would take her to a theatre that was open to only us so she could share all her secret music business, performance and songwriting tips and tricks with me. I very much admire her, her mindset and her career. Then, obviously, it would be rude not for me to plead with her to get on stage and perform for an audience of only me. What an experience that would be! Dolly seems like one of the friendliest and most genuine people on the planet. I would love to spend time with her.
And now my review of a couple of tracks from Taynee, starting with the new single.
“You Think You’re All That.” This number kicks us straight into a smooth country groove. I loved that guitar work, and the vocals hit the notes so well. This track should have wide radio appeal; it moves at a pace and has everything ready for your listening and dancing pleasure. I’d love to hear this live. It’s confident, modern country.
And here is a little overview of some of her other work, a dip in by me!
“Love Hard” is an earlier number, anthemic in feel, with a slightly slower pace and with this musical sway that you could imagine will go down a treat on country radio.
“Boy With the Eyes” is Nashville country, traditional vocally and instrumentally. It has a lovely sway to it and a fun vocal about love and early romance! It’s a dreamy number.
“Love Moves Like a Train” is one I like a lot. It’s probably my favourite from Taynee. Her vocals are slightly deeper in tone and the mix has it right. It has some interesting layers vocally and in the last third it is this harmony vocal alone before the drums kick in alongside the melody. Really good, Taynee nails this one.
It has a lyric video that goes with it, I’ve linked that below.
Taynee also features on Tom Cary’s “Kiss Goodnight” a belter of a track with harmony, energy and a bit of rock infused country. You can stream that one here and it gets it spot on! Good fun this one.
The artist website
Download/stream her new single here (from November 1)
By Lorraine Foley.
I really hoped you liked this feature, as I said it’s my first time flying solo with one of these! We do give all free material at the magazine, but we work hard for you and if you like to buy me a coffee because you enjoy what we do, then the donate button is at the bottom. Also, we have our own merchandise (and I do look great in the T-Shirt!), features on so many great artists and so much more if you stay a while and look at what we do.