One of the more underrated Toronto musicians today is the soulful and sweet-voiced Julian Taylor, who does not get the credit he deserves for all the work he puts into his music. His most recent LP released earlier this year, Tech Noir, is an example of that hard work – a well thought-out, crafted, and arranged LP that draws from various influences of music.
‘You Say’ opens the LP with a funk explosion, one of several tracks reminiscent of the Motown classics. Tech Noir, however, does not fall into strictly retro territory. Different sounds are mixed in from the bluesy, harmonica driven ‘The Other Side’ to the more folk roots ‘Carry Me Home’, which collectively help give an overall feeling of freshness to the album.
The most standout song is lead single ‘Never Give You Up’, featuring emotional lyrics accentuated by astute falsetto verses and simplistic, yet catchy string-heavy instrumentation.
For comparison sake, Tech Noir sounds like The Black Keys later material after they signed with producer Danger Mouse in 2008, but with a little bit more of a Motown vibe and influence to it. It is no surprise, then, that Julian Taylor tweeted “#bigfan” after meeting Dan Auerbach at the ACC when The Keys were in town on September 15.
The Julian Taylor band have been performing everywhere around Toronto, their most recent gig will be opening for The Grapes of Wrath at The Danforth Music Hall on October 4.