Sometimes, you see an artist and they remind you that you need to better. Maybe, they sing a song that reminds you that you need to laugh, love, or forgive more. Maria Taylor is a songstress that reminds me the grace of being mature. Its hard to feel like a full-grown adult, especially for this generation, that struggles to go beyond internship abyss. I say this not to make a joke but to explain how beautiful it was to see Maria Taylor playing with her family, sweetly conversing with audience, and showing me that difference between a girl and a woman comes from how she owns her compassion and confidence.
I know it sounds strange that, basically, her concert reminded me of how to be a woman or a graceful human being, but Taylor owns the stage in a way that is alarmingly natural. If she had said that she was, literally, born in a concert, I would have believed it. She comes off as someone who is meant to sing and could not do anything else, which is the first time I ever walked away from an artist saying “Yea, they are doing what they are supposed to”. Not that I have seen an artist undeserving of or unprepared for the stage: its just was never thought I had. I have never thought, “Well they were meant to be a singer” before, but Maria Taylor’s calm and charm on the Rockwood Music Hall stage felt so right. She reminded me of those classic stars like, Debbie Reynolds or Frank Sinatra, that would sing their songs, and always, in between, check on the audience and give them a humorous quip. Maria Taylor does not take lightly the fact that you, the viewer, have gone to see her. While many artists see their concert, as I do, a chance to listen to them live, Maria Taylor takes is as an opportunity for you to meet her. The difference is staggering in that, if you went to see her because you love her music, you walk out loyal to her as a person. You want Maria Taylor to succeed.
Charisma goes a long way with a crowd, but it feels especially great if your music is as thoughtful as Taylor. When you meet a charming person, you wonder if they suffer. Their indomitable smile, quick quips, and brimming positivity make them appear like a person that has not, can not, and will not feel pain. Yet, Maria Taylor’s music is all about vulnerability. It is about the risks you take, for better or worse, when you let your guard down, which helps you understand that her brightness towards life has been earned. She is a strong person that cannot be torn down. Songs like, “Home” and “If Only” are splendid reminders that you go through pain to get to happiness. Its hard to believe optimism can come from lyrics that claim suffering is apart of life, something we all wish to deny, but Taylor never quits reminding you that so is joy. Pain is defined by a lack of healing, which means by its very definition it is not more powerful than love. If you define yourself by the lack of something then can you really say that you are your own “something”? These are the deep, semi-ambiguous thoughts her country flared music will inspire. Although she does have subtle hints of pop, rock, and folk music coursing through her sound, its country that happily dominates her style and felt so fresh to this Lower East lounge.