It's been a while. Hello.
It's been so long since I wrote an update on this blog, I don't know where to start - so I won't. I'll just talk for a bit if that's okay with you? Cool.
'Beyond The Lines, Beyond The Sea' is the name of my new album. It's coming out on June 20th 2016, almost four years since my debut 'Night Stories' on September 10th 2012.
On September 11th 2012, I got some devastating news.
My eldest brother Nick had cancer. It wasn't going to go away. It would claim him in a year.
Let me tell you about Nick. He liked music. He liked fishing. He liked to take photographs. He liked to travel. He liked to drink whisky. He loved his family very much. As big brothers go, along with next in line David, I couldn't ask for better.
What followed in terms of the next twelve months, both personally and musically is kind of a maelstrom - a spiralling journey that somehow, at some points, never felt like it was going to stop being downward, or ever get better. Music was my ally, my friend, my confidant, but - this time round - it left me. I couldn't write, couldn't shape my fingers into a chord to lay on a keyboard, I couldn't do anything. Even the prospect of turning my computer on to face it daunted and tricked and terrified me.
And then came the day that he left us too. Almost exactly a year since we were told we would lose him.
Grief is such a subjective thing. Some people can carry on with their day - pulling and dragging themselves through it, healing through industry, seeking out support when they need it like popping a painkiller from out of the blisterpack. Others retreat, look inwards, try to unravel, and understand, and withdraw....latterly, this was me. I was angry, I was sad, I was suffering my own way - as we all were. No one in the Taylor family had it any easier than anyone else. Time is what you need I told myself, the aged cliche which is more than true. Less than true were some of the friends who would not afford me that time and thought I should 'snap out of it', 'be more positive', 'stop being so sad', 'its not what he would have wanted'. If stating the obvious were an Olympic sport right? These people stopped becoming friends very quickly. If they ever are in a position where they lose something more significant to them than their car keys (and they will) then I shall be very interested in measuring the relevance of their grief for them. I told you I was angry.
By the by. To the point.
Music, after time, became more accessible to me, if certainly not easy. Nick was always over my shoulder when I was writing this album - sometimes I could almost hear his voice, not in a cliched Hollywood way, giving me guidance (he certainly wasn't Yoda) - but just the sound of his voice was there. Like the hum of a streetlight, or traffic across air - he was a reference point always. I'm not sure that was a good thing - this album was hard fucking work, it never made it easier. But I always felt he was there - but then I realised - I got it wrong.
There I was trying to make this album for him - to finish it for him - to leave something as a parting gift that he would have been proud of and listened to and enjoyed. No.
This album was MY journey. A journey through grief, through change, through pain, through loss, through coming out the other side. I still am, I think I always will be.
Beyond The Lines - beyond what we see every day, beyond what we take for granted....
Beyond The Sea - to that place where one day we will go, that we will never return or turn away from....
This is what that journey sounds like.
For Nick. For Me. For Us.
'Beyond The Lines, Beyond The Sea' Pre-Order Here
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