“The Singularity” impresses again with an expansive and sonically engaging offering with a little something for everyone.
Since the stars in the night sky burst into our galaxy and the dawn of our civilization, the power of music has moved hearts and captured imaginations everywhere.
Julian Shah-Tayler has always been a big thinker; his fascination with space, the universe, and the big questions that stimulate the human condition have earned him the moniker “The Singularity.”
Known for his boundless imagination and incorporation of these questions and themes in his approach, his artistic open-mindedness has imbued his music with a level of magic and mystery that continues to fascinate as much as it enthralls.
The universe works in many mysterious ways. Born in Leeds, England, the path “The Singularity” took to find his true calling was not straightforward. Shah-Tayler studied philosophy at York University before moving to London to pursue his true calling.
Trained on the classical piano as well as possessing natural skill on the guitar, he would get his feet wet with spells at Creation Records, and the band Whitey before the universe would ultimately send him to LA. Having racked up numerous licenses in film and TV (including receiving a Golden Trailer for his work with Lana Del Ray on Disney’s Maleficent Trailer), the electrifying Shah-Tayler is set to continue building his already impressive legacy with his new album “Elysium.”
If you’ve been paying attention at any point in Shah-Tayler’s musical career, the complex, expansive, yet viscerally gripping nature of “Elysium” is no surprise. It feels like there is gold at every turn, and from the moment the album begins with the sonic yet irresistibly groovy opener, “End of The Line,” it feels like you’re being taken on a profound journey. “The Singularity” starts strong and simply never looks back. “Elysium” feels like a grand musical adventure, a foray into the expansive nebulous world of synths, riffs, and vocals Shah-Tayler has meticulously crafted. He also finds ways to keep things fresh and exciting, expertly manipulating his songs' mood, tone, and energy to maximize each line and verse.
For example, on “Secret,” a dark, slow start and lyrics like “I escape from life on the blade of a knife / I can see for miles and miles” make the subsequent joy on lines like “I've got this secret / I’ve got no regret I've got this feeling in my bones / That we are never going home” shine so much brighter. This profound sensibility is at the heart of “Elysium’s” success, and although “Elysium” has thirteen songs front to back, Shah-Tayler manages the impressive (and increasingly rare) feat of making a cohesive project that doesn’t feel repetitive, keeping you enthralled with his expansive storytelling and subtle mood shifts.
The emotional payoff from highs and lows cut straight to your heart, as on songs like “Evolution” (another standout of the album), lines like the simple yet oft-repeated “Why is there so much pain?” are delivered so solemnly that it feels like the pain in Shah-Tayler’s voice is gripping your heart instead.
That’s not to say that he keeps you melancholic the entire time, though; as “Elysium” winds to a close, the darkness and vague malaise of songs like “Bet Your Life” are shed by the supersonic speed of “Darkling U,” before Chatfield’s remix of “End of The Line” take you home. In contrast to the “End of The Line’s” song title, it feels like a storm has blown over, bringing light and endless new possibilities for the next stop on Shah-Tayler’s musical adventure.
Julian Shah-Tayler’s “Elysium” feels like a dream, like you’ve been spirited away from your bed to that magical point where the infinite nebula of space and the forces of music intersect. Whenever you’re ready for your next musical adventure, tap in and stream Shah-Tayler’s new masterpiece, “Elysium.”
We loved "Elysium," what a beautiful album! We wanted to ask, what was the inspiration behind "Elysium?" How did you envision it, and did it end up being different from what you thought?
The album was written about the end of my last relationship and the trajectory of the next one. I wrote from the heart about the exact situations and the emotional ride they took me on. Song by song, it tells the story of the ups and downs of a great Love. It's become a cycle, as I just broke up with the album's subject! I always write songs as a kind of diary. My lyrics are the story of my life unfolding, my catharsis, my plea, my joy, and my pain. I envisioned it as a celebration of Love and life, not a commentary on the cyclical nature of relationships in general, but it ended up becoming that. The last song (Darkling U) then turns into the beginning of the end and should probably start back again at "End of The Line."
So you grew up in Leeds in the UK, but now you're based in LA, right? How have both of those music scenes influenced you as an artist?
I was born but did not grow up in Leeds. The principal influence is probably from London, where I lived my adult life. The London scene must have influenced me very strongly, but I have rarely been influenced by my surroundings but more by media-driven and word-of-mouth music. I tend to discover music through people, not "scenes." The LA scene is entirely different, and I feel like an outsider musically, but I find other musicians supportive and wonderful. The best band in LA is Piel, for whom I used to play guitar. They should be HUGE.
What is your favorite thing about being able to make music you like and release it to your fans?
I enjoy putting myself into the world as a vulnerable, honest artist and having people respond positively to my heart and soul. I have found so much respect and Love from the people paying attention since Elysium came out. It has struck a chord with people. I have found my "tribe," the romantic and sexy people who pay attention to art and enjoy good movies and books...
What was your favorite part of bringing your vision for "Elysium" to life?
I'm doing the research for the sexy songs I'm. Just kidding. Working with David J (Bauhaus/Love and Rockets), MGT (The Mission UK/Tricky/Peter Murphy), and Robert Margouleff (Stevie Wonder/Devo) on this record. An honor.
What's next for Julian Shah-Tayler? Can we expect to hear more new music, and is there anything you want to say to your fans?
I wrote a whole other album during this period of being in the "Love Bubble." It is pretty much done, but I will most likely release a "Greatest Hits" before that. I have had a long career with some success, so I want to remind people by releasing the "best of" before digging into the next stage.
The following unreleased originals will be called "Honne Tatame," a Japanese dichotomy that means the face we show the world and the "Real face." This means I can release some songs that deal with Love and some that deal with politics and social commentary on the same record. Mike Garson and Carmine Rojas from Bowie's band are on the record; Alain Whyte (Morrissey) is also on it, along with Christopher Olivas (ex-Berlin) on drums. And David J, of course. I wish to tell my "Fans," or as I like to see them, "friends" and #singularpeople, that I still believe that Love and pain are just part of life. Write it down, live through it, and emerge stronger. "Love is all you need," as some band from Liverpool once said. I would also like to ask fans which songs they would like to hear from my long career for the upcoming live shows.